Mount Pleasant Couple Charged with Firearms Trafficking

Mount Pleasant Couple Charged with Firearms Trafficking and Drug Trafficking

(STL.News)  United States Attorney Richard G. Frohling of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced that on April 19, 2022, an indictment was returned charging Deandre L. Rodgers (age 36) of Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin, and Viridiana Garcia-Ramirez (age 24) of Los Angeles, California, with conspiring to violate the laws of the United States, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, dealing in firearms without a license, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, 922(a)(1)(A), making a false statement to a federal firearms licensee, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(a)(6), unlawful possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1), distribution of a controlled substance, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1), using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c)(1)(A), and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1).

According to court documents, Rodgers and Garcia-Ramirez engaged in a conspiracy to purchase firearms from local gun stores in Wisconsin, alter or obliterate the serial numbers on those firearms, and sell those firearms to others. As part of the conspiracy, Rodgers and Garcia-Ramirez purchased 11 handguns and 1 rifle from local gun stores between December 2021 and March 2022.

On April 5, 2022, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) executed a warrant at a hotel in Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin, where Rodgers and Garcia-Ramirez were staying. Inside the hotel room, agents found 29-individually wrapped plastic bags containing crack cocaine, two digital scales, and approximately $800, but none of firearms. Rodgers is prohibited from possessing a firearm as a result of a prior felony conviction.

This case was investigated by the ATF and will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip T. Kovoor.

An indictment and criminal complaint are merely allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

SOURCE: USDOJ.Today