LOS ANGELES – An anti-gun activist and alleged gang member
who for the past decade has run a publicly funded organization
called “No Guns” was sentenced today to spend eight years in state
prison for selling assault weapons during an undercover sting
Deputy District Attorney Eric Harmon of the Hardcore Gang
Division said Hector Marroquin Sr., 51, pleaded no contest to three
counts of illegal sale of assault weapons, a felony. He was
sentenced immediately by Superior Court Judge Steven Van Sicklen.
“This case shows the need for better vetting of programs such as
Marroquin’s before taxpayers’ money is expended,” said District
Attorney Steve Cooley. “There also must be regular auditing of such
programs to ensure public funding is being spent to solve the
problems of gangs and guns – not exacerbate them.”
Marroquin and 25-year-old Sylvia Arellano were charged last year
after an undercover sting by a multi-agency task force battling gun
and gang violence throughout Los Angeles County. The case was filed
against them in May 2007 and had yet to go to preliminary hearing.
The evidence was presented to the Los Angeles County Grand Jury,
which returned an indictment last month. The indictment was
unsealed Jan. 4 when both defendants were arraigned.
Harmon said Marroquin, a suspected 18th Street gang “shot
caller,” used his status as a “gang interventionist” to hide his
criminal enterprises. He said the sales of assault weapons occurred
on three separate occasions in September, October and November of
2006. The sales of weapons were to a person who was working
undercover with the task force. The guns sold included a Norinco
Mac-90, a Ewbank EMAKM 7.62 and a SWD-M11 assault weapons.
The prosecutor said Marroquin has a bar in Cudahy and sale of at
least some of the weapons was negotiated there. Marroquin’s “No
Guns” organization stands for Networks Organized for Gang Unity and
Harmon said Arellano also pleaded no contest today and is
scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Van Sicklen on Jan. 22.
Harmon said the case was a joint federal and
local law enforcement effort in conjunction with the Project Safe
Neighborhoods program funded by the U.S. Department of Justice. The
prosecutor, assigned to the program, serves as a legal and technical
firearms expert in the investigative and judicial processes in an
effort to combat gun and gang violence throughout Los Angeles