An officer assigned to New York City Police headquarters and his two brothers are accused of smuggling assault rifles and other firearms to the Philippines to sell, WCBS-TV reported on Friday.
Authorities charged Officer Rex Maralit and his brothers Wilfred — a Customs and Border Protection official based out of Los Angeles International Airport — and Ariel Maralit with conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act and unlicensed firearms dealing, arguing that Rex and Wilfred Maralit would use their law enforcement status to acquire the weapons at a discount and ship them to the Philippines, where Ariel Maralit would sell them, between January 2009 and March 2013.
“As alleged, rather than upholding and enforcing the law as they had sworn to do, these defendants made international gunrunning a family business,” U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch told WCBS. “The brothers used their knowledge of the law to circumvent it and sent dangerous weapons overseas without regard for the ultimate destination or targets.”
Each man faces up to five years in jail for each charge, as well as a $250,000 fine.
Prosecutors said Wilfred Maralit would identify clients in the Philippines while his two brothers procured the weapons and shipped them from the U.S., falsely labeling them as “industrial sliding door track” or “televisions.”
Watch a report on the Maralit brothers’ alleged gun-running activities, aired Friday on WPIX-TV, below.