BCSO Holds Press Conference to Address Illegal Machine Gun Distribution Scheme
By: ABQRAW staff
Posted: 10/31/2023 @ 3:45PM
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Albuquerque - On Tuesday, October 31, 2023, Sheriff John Allen confronted the concerns of the community regarding the recent accusations against law enforcement officers, both at the local and national levels. This follows a federal indictment by the US Attorney's Office in Maryland, linking law enforcement officials to an alleged illicit machine gun distribution scheme that has garnered substantial media coverage.
On Thursday, October 26, 2023, we reported about the federal indictment naming the former Bernalillo County Sheriff, Manny Gonzales, and the Pueblo Laguna/BCSO Undersheriff, Rudy Mora. The indictment alleges that they illegally acquired machine guns and other firearms. According to federal prosecutors, these individuals reportedly collaborated to obtain machine guns by falsely claiming they needed them for law enforcement demonstrations. However, the indictment says that there was no genuine intent to demonstrate these firearms to the police or use them within their law enforcement agency.
The indictment references that "M.G.," the former Bernalillo County Sheriff, sent 127 letters to the ATF requesting demonstrations of approximately 598 firearms, with about 7 firearms being imported. "R.M.," the former police chief of Pueblo Laguna and former Undersheriff of BCSO, sent 17 letters requesting demonstrations of approximately 414 firearms, with about 13 firearms being imported.
The federal indictment further reveals that BCSO phased out the use of fully automatic weapons around 2013. To acquire such weapons, the Sheriff or the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office would have needed to follow a special process by obtaining approval from the Bernalillo County Purchasing Administrator.
During the press conference that BCSO Sheriff John Allen held today, he answered a variety of questions posed by the media.
Watch the full press conference HERE:
Just to remind readers, the federal indictment contains information regarding former BCSO Sheriff Manny Gonzales and the Pueblo Laguna/BCSO Undersheriff, Rudy Mora. However, it's important to note that as of this posting, neither former Sheriff Gonzales nor Undersheriff Mora have faced formal charges in connection with this alleged machine gun scheme.