Authorities say prohibited persons behind San Jose gun trafficking operation

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Police in San Jose, California say they’ve broken up an operation illegally selling firearms in the city; one allegedly run by two individuals already prohibited by state law from purchasing or selling firearms.

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Authorities arrested 23-year-old Eric Diaz-Ramirez, along with an unidentified 16-year-old, on a variety of charges involving guns and drugs. Interestingly, while the investigation was conducted by the San Jose PD’s “ghost gun unit,” it doesn’t look like any home-built firearms were seized as a result.

During the investigation, detectives determined that Diaz-Ramirez was allegedly supplying various illegal firearms to the juvenile suspect.

Detectives later determined that the juvenile suspect allegedly had been in possession of a loaded concealed firearm while on campus at Independence High School during school hours.

On Wednesday, detectives served two simultaneous search warrants and took the suspects into custody in San José without incident.

The following items were seized during the residential search:

  • Springfield Armory Champion semi-automatic pistol .45 caliber
  • Heritage Arms revolver .22LR caliber
  • Colt Automatic semi-automatic pistol .25 caliber
  • Harrington & Richardson revolver .38 Special caliber
  • Smith & Wesson SD40OVE semi-automatic pistol .40 caliber
  • Approximately 43.5 gram of suspected cocaine
  • Various calibers of ammunition for those firearms
  • Marijuana

I wonder what was easier for Diaz-Ramirez to allegedly get ahold of, the illegal drugs or the guns that are illegal to buy and sell in California without a background check and a 10-day waiting period? I guess I should throw the ammo in there as well, since California law requires background checks on ammunition purchases and bans residents from bringing in ammo purchased out-of-state.

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None of those statutes stopped Diaz-Ramirez from running guns and drugs, according to authorities, though they certainly impose a heavy burden on law-abiding citizens. And apparently none of them were “ghost guns” either, which is another indication that California’s restrictive policies aren’t dramatically reducing the existing supply of stolen or black market guns.

Locally, San Jose’s politicians have decided to blame legal gun owners for the actions of violent criminals by imposing insurance mandates and annual fees on them, while ignoring the guys who are illegally supplying the guns to the guys illegally pulling the trigger at the increasing number of crime scenes across the city. As someone who allegedly possessed guns despite his status as a convicted felon, Diaz-Ramirez wouldn’t have been able to get liability insurance even if he’d tried to comply with the law, and I doubt he would have outed himself by cutting a check to whatever third-party the city ultimately decides will collect its annual tax on gun ownership.

No, as it turned out what actually stopped Diaz-Ramirez and his juvenile cohort from allegedly continuing their felonious behavior was simply good old fashioned police work. Moreover, the most serious charges that Diaz-Ramirez is facing are crimes that aren’t really part of California’s unique and dystopian gun control landscape; possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, gun trafficking, and illegal drug possession among them.

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Now that police have done their jobs we’ll see if prosecutors in San Jose will do theirs. One of the first tests will be if the 16-year-old is charged as an adult or if his case is referred to juvenile court instead, and we’ll be keeping watch for any news on Diaz-Ramirez and his co-defendant going forward.

 

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