Gun traffickers get probation after DOJ plea deal

(AP Photo/Marina Riker, File)

Joe Biden has made his hostility towards the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans a matter of public record, from his repeated vow to ban the most commonly-sold rifles in the country to his naming a staunch gun control advocate as his choice for ATF director. But while the Biden administration has the right to keep and bear arms in its crosshairs, Biden’s Department of Justice continues to take a softer approach to dealing with violent criminals and even gun traffickers.

Back in April, the DOJ was quick to announce that it had secured guilty pleas from three California men accused of illegally trafficking “unlicensed and illegal firearms” including a number of switches that convert semi-automatic firearms into fully-automatic weapons. The case against the men was strong, and included buys from undercover law enforcement agents. Despite the abundance of evidence, the DOJ offered the three men a plea deal instead of taking the case to trial, where each conviction could have resulted in a five-year federal prison sentence and a $250,000 fine.

Oddly, I can’t find any DOJ press release about the sentence the three men actually received back in August; maybe because two of the three gun traffickers got away with nothing more than probation. It wasn’t until this week that the details of the soft sentences were reported by local media in the San Francisco area, with the the East Bay Times shedding some light on the punishment, or lack thereof, for the defendants.

Troy Elias Walker was sentenced to three years in federal prison, while his co-defendants David Michael Rembert and Dajit Kamal Singh each got five-year probation terms, court records show. The sentences were handed down in August by U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar, but have not been previously reported.
In undercover purchases and raids, federal authorities seized 86 firearms during the investigation of the three defendants, prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo. They also found Instagram messages where Walker is alleged to have offered a $1,500 bounty for a person who stole one of his guns, writing that he wanted to “kill him and his whole family and eat cereal in his bed,” prosecutors said.
“The offense conduct here is extremely serious,” assistant U.S. Attorney Abraham Fine wrote in a sentencing memo for the defendants. “Not only were many of these weapons untraceable, Defendants also sold devices that increased the lethality of weapons by making them fully automatic.”
These may have been serious offenses, but the consequences are anything but, with the possible exception of Walker’s three-year sentence. Even that is just a little more than half of what Walker would have been eligible to receive if the case had gone to trial and he was convicted of a single charge. Given that Walker and his co-defendants were accused of illegally selling as many as 99 firearms over the course of a three-month period last year, Biden’s Justice Department could have pursued this case far more aggressively than it did, but I guess the administration was more interested in securing a guilty plea that they could boast about in the press rather than taking the case to trial and prosecuting the defendants to the fullest extent of the law.
Will that same standard will apply to legal gun owners who are being targeted by the ATF over recent gun purchases or the millions of Americans who could become paperwork criminals overnight if the AFT’s proposed rules on pistol stabilizing braces take effect? I doubt it. While the Biden administration may claim to be getting tough on gun-related crimes, its top priority appears to be going after the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners.