A Monmouth County man and his brother were being sought by federal authorities who charged them and three other people with running guns from Florida to the Jersey Shore.
Fugitives Waldin “Manin” Espinosa-Ozoria, 31, of Freehold and Manuel “Chino” Espinosa-Ozoria, 30, of Bartow, FL are charged with conspiring to illegally sell firearms, including handguns and a semi-automatic rifle, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
Arrested on similar charges were Enrique “El Enano 13” Quijada, 23, also of Freehold, Javier “Broly” Rodriguez-Valpais, 31, of Morganville, and Jacquelyn Dejesus, 41, also of Bartow, Carpenito said.
Manuel Espinosa-Ozoria, the accused ringleader, employed Dejesus as a straw buyer of firearms in Florida that both of them then brought to New Jersey, the U.S. attorney said.
Manuel Espinosa-Ozoria, assisted by his brother and Rodriguez-Valpais, sold the weapons to an FBI operative, Carpenito said.
Rodriguez-Valpais also sold a .223 caliber semi-automatic rifle to Quijada, who, in turn, sold it to an FBI, he added.
Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, Newark Division with the investigation leading to the charges and arrest.
He also thanked the FBI Tampa Division, the ATF Newark and Tampa field divisions and Freehold police for their assistance.
The case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s “signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws,” Carpenito said.
PROJECT GUARDIAN: https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian
Handling the case for the government is Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian D. Brater of Carpenito’s Criminal Division in Trenton.
Click here to follow Daily Voice Monmouth and receive free news updates.