New York Man Sentenced to More Than 12 Years for Illegally Possessing Cache of Machine Guns, Rifles, and Other Firearms
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that ANTONIO OLMEDA of New York, New York, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Richard M. Berman to 151 months in prison. OLMEDA pled guilty on October 14, 2014, to all six counts charged in the Indictment against him: three counts of being a convicted felon in possession of various firearms, two counts of possessing unregistered machine guns, and one count of possessing an unregistered short-barreled shotgun. OLMEDA was arrested in December 2011 on state charges in connection with his alleged attempt to shoot two police officers with the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”).
U.S. Attorney Bharara stated: “Antonio Olmeda, a one-man armory, was a convicted felon in possession of a vast cache of deadly weapons. He violated federal law by possessing guns at all, and even had he not been a convicted felon, he violated federal law by failing to register certain of the weapons. As is alleged in the pending state prosecution of Olmeda for attempted murder, he was not merely a hoarder of weapons, he used them with deadly intentions, shooting at two uniformed police officers. His sentence today reflects the seriousness of his crimes.”
According to the Indictment filed in federal court, other documents filed in federal court, statements made at various proceedings in this case, and evidence presented at a two-day sentencing hearing:
On December 2, 2011, OLMEDA, who at the time was wearing a disguise, was approached by two uniformed NYPD officers in Queens, New York. The officers asked OLMEDA to remove his hands from his pockets, which OLMEDA refused to do. When one of the officers attempted to restrain OLMEDA, OLMEDA resisted, pulled a revolver out of his pocket, and fired two shots at the officers, missing the officers. OLMEDA then fled the scene. Bullet fragments from the gun that OLMEDA fired were later found at a nearby pediatric dental office.
In the morning of December 19, 2011, law enforcement officers approached OLMEDA in Manhattan and arrested him for the shooting on December 2, 2011. At the time of this arrest, the officers recovered from OLMEDA’s person a .45 caliber handgun, and from OLMEDA’s car a .38 caliber revolver with two live rounds of ammunition and three spent .38 caliber shell casings. Subsequent ballistics testing confirmed that this .38 caliber revolver was the same firearm that OLMEDA fired on December 2, 2011. OLMEDA’s possession of the .38 caliber revolver was the subject of an evidentiary hearing before Judge Berman in connection with OLMEDA’s sentencing in this case. Judge Berman concluded that “[t]here is no doubt . . . that by firing the gun at [the two NYPD police officers] Mr. Olmeda intended to cause serious injury to those officers.”
In connection with OLMEDA’s arrest on December 19, 2011, officers also recovered from OLMEDA’s car a document containing the names of two attorneys and a federal judge. One of the attorneys had previously represented OLMEDA in a prior case, and had an office in close proximity to the location where OLMEDA, wearing a disguise and carrying the .38 caliber revolver, had been approached by officers. Another attorney on the document had previously represented one of Olmeda’s former lawyers in a civil lawsuit brought by OLMEDA. The federal judge on the document had presided over, and dismissed, the lawsuit. Also found in OLMEDA’s car was a copy of a last will and testament in OLMEDA’s name. OLMEDA previously had purchased a lot at a cemetery and commissioned the engraving of a tombstone in his name.
Later on December 19, 2011, law enforcement officers conducted a search of OLMEDA’s apartment in Manhattan. This search resulted in the recovery of a number of additional firearms, including a .223 caliber fully automatic rifle, a 9-mm fully automatic pistol, and two other pistols.
On September 6, 2012, law enforcement officers searched OLMEDA’s storage locker in Yonkers, New York. The officers found inside the storage locker, among other things, a sawed-off shotgun, two sniper rifles with scopes, two machine guns, at least eight pistols, a revolver, and numerous rounds of ammunition. Officers also found a lifelike mask that could be used to disguise one’s face and various protective gear, including bulletproof vests and gas masks.
In total, in or about 2011, OLMEDA illegally possessed the following firearms:
- Springfield Armory Ultra Compact .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun
- Taurus 85 Ultralite .38 caliber revolver
- Olympic Arms PCR03 .223 caliber fully-automatic rifle
- Smith & Wesson .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol
- Beretta 92SB Compact 9-mm Luger semi-automatic pistol
- Cobray Industries M-11 9-mm Luger fully automatic pistol
- Remington model Mohawk 600 .308 caliber rifle
- Roggio Arsenal model RA-15 rifle receiver/frame
- Interarms rifle
- Three Springfield Armory model 1911A1 .45-caliber pistols
- Sig Sauer model SP 2022 9-mm pistol
- Taurus model PT140 Millenium .40 caliber pistol
- Smith & Wesson model 4006 .40 caliber pistol
- Star Bonifacio Echeverria model Firestar 9-mm pistol
- Charter Arms model Police Undercover .32 caliber revolver
- Walther model PPK/S .380 caliber pistol
- Vulcan Arms model V15 7.62x39-mm machine gun
- Norinco AK-type 7.62x39-mm machine gun
- Mossberg model 500A 12-gauge shotgun
- A .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol of unknown make and model
OLMEDA has two prior felony convictions. First, in November 1995, OLMEDA was convicted in Bronx County Supreme Court of criminal possession of a dangerous weapon in the first degree. At the time of his arrest on that charge, OLMEDA possessed an Uzi machine gun, a sawed-off shotgun, a silencer, and several boxes of ammunition for the Uzi. A search of OLMEDA’s van on the same day uncovered a flamethrower, 18 pipe bombs, seven cans containing black powder, and 1,100 rounds of ammunition.
Second, in April 2003, OLMEDA was convicted in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina of possessing ammunition after having previously been convicted of a felony. On June 12, 2002, OLMEDA, who was in possession of luggage, was approached by law enforcement officers outside of the Fort Bragg military installation in North Carolina after inquiring about the security at Fort Bragg. A search of OLMEDA’s luggage resulted in the recovery of 328 rounds of ammunition and receipts for ammunition purchased earlier that day.
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OLMEDA, 57, was convicted of three counts of being a convicted felon in possession of various firearms, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1); two counts of possessing unregistered machine guns, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 5845(b), 5861(d); and one count of possessing an unregistered short-barreled shotgun, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 5845(a)(2), 5861(d). In addition to the 151-month prison term, OLMEDA was sentenced by Judge Berman to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay a $600 special assessment.
OLMEDA is separately charged by the state in Queens County, New York, with two counts of attempted murder in the first degree, two counts of attempted assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon, one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, and two counts of attempted assault in the first degree, all arising out of his alleged attempt to shoot two NYPD police officers in Queens, New York, on or about December 2, 2011. The state charges are merely accusations, and OLMEDA is presumed innocent of those state charges unless and until proven guilty.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding efforts of the Joint Terrorism Task Force—which principally consists of agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and detectives from the NYPD; the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the United States Marshals Service. Mr. Bharara also thanked the NYPD and the Yonkers Police Department for their assistance.
The case is being handled jointly by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit and Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shane T. Stansbury, Michael D. Maimin, and John P. Cronan are in charge of the prosecution.
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