Owners of the Lawman Gun Shop Sentenced
SAN JUAN, PR—María Del Carmen Rivera-Negrón and Julio Colón-Santiago, owners of Lawman Gun Shop, were sentenced to 24 months and 36 months in prison, respectively, for unlawful production of an identification document, specifically, a Puerto Rico Concealed Carry Weapons Permit announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. The defendants pled guilty on August 11, 2014.
On or about the 21st day of May, 2012, in the District of Puerto Rico, the defendants aiding and abetting others, did willfully and knowingly cause, without lawful authority, production of identification documents, authentication features, and false identification documents, to wit, a Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Concealed Carry Weapons Permit under Weapons Permit Number XX129, with the help of Attorney and Notary Public Antonio Peluzzo-Perotin.
María Del Carmen Rivera-Negrón and Julio Colón-Santiago co-owned The Lawman Gun Shop, a federally licensed firearms (FFL) dealer. Using their positions, the defendants participated in a scheme to have Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Concealed Carry Weapons Permits issued without compliance with applicable law. Defendants’ scheme involved over 250 victims and more than $1,000,000 in losses, some to the Puerto Rico Department of Treasury.
Defendants used their special skills as owners of an armory and federally licensed firearms dealers in order to carry out the scheme. The Board of Directors of Rivera Pagán & Asociados, Inc., d/b/a The Lawman Gun Shop also authorized a guilty plea on behalf of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Corporation.
María Del Carmen Rivera-Negrón, Julio Colón-Santiago, and Rivera Pagán & Asociados, Inc., d/b/a The Lawman Gun Shop admitted that the scheme permitted unqualified individuals to carry firearms without being properly vetted under the law thereby circumventing the statutory, judicial, and bureaucratic processes for obtaining a Puerto Rico Concealed Carry Weapons Permit.
“As federally licensed firearms dealers and gun shop owners, the defendants were placed in a unique position of trust by both local and federal authorities,” said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. “They were entrusted with ensuring that guns were placed only in the hands of those who should have them under the law. The defendants traded and abused that trust—for cash. That is simply wrong, especially on our island where gun violence is a continuing concern.”
Former attorney Antonio M. Peluzzo-Perotin was sentenced on March 25, 2015, to 90 months in prison, and three years of supervised release. Julio Medina-Mojica, former President of the Humacao Shooting Range, was sentenced to 27 months in prison.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) are in charge of the investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys José Capó-Iriarte and Luke Cass.