YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A New Milford man today admitted conspiring to sell guns smuggled out of Iraq that once belonged to the family of Saddam Hussein.
Carlos Manuel Quirola, 58, pleaded guilty in federal court in Newark to a single charge of conspiring to transport stolen firearms.
Two other men, Karlo Sauer and Howard Blumenthal, have pleaded guilty, as well, and a third, David Ryan of Miami, FL, is headed to trial in May.
U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden set sentencing for Quirola — also known as “Manny” — for June 1, 2015, pending the outcome of Ryan’s trial.
U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said federal agents got a tip in April 2012 that “valuable firearms allegedly belonging to members of the family of the late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein were available for sale.
“The weapons were kept in Florida while attempts were made by Ryan, Quirola-Ordonez and others to find buyers in New Jersey,” Fishman said.
“During the course of the conspiracy, seven firearms – which were appraised as a collection to be worth between $250,000 to $350,000 – were shipped to New Jersey for viewing by potential buyers,” he said.
• Coonan Arms Inc., .357 semi-automatic pistol, nickel finish, made in St. Paul, Minn., with gold inlay and a medallion “QS” on left side grip (believed to be the initials of Qusay Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti, the second son of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein);
• Korth, .357 magnum revolver (six shot) stamped “Made in W. Germany Waffenfabrik Koth Ratzeburg/LBG,” with gold inlay, black finish, wood grips, which displays a drawing of a wild boar;
• Korth, .357 magnum, revolver (six shot) stamped “Made in W. Germany Waffenfabrik Koth Ratzeburg/LBG,” with gold inlay, black finish, wood grips, which displays a drawing of a moose;
• Chinese State Factories type 64 pistol, .32 caliber semi-auto pistol, black finish, with Yemen flag icon on both sides of grip and Arabic writing on the slide;
• Llama Semiautomatic .45 ACP pistol with gold leaf and gold inlays, hand engraved, bearing the initials “QS”
• Two Cosmi, 12 gauge shotguns, break top, single barrel;
Fishman credited agents of the ATF and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations.
The case is being handled by Joyce M. Malliet of the U.S. Attorney’s Office National Security Unit in Newark.
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