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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
  2. News Room
  3. 4 Firearms Traffickers Sentenced Following HSI New York Investigation

4 Firearms Traffickers Sentenced Following HSI New York Investigation

Release Date: April 29, 2024

ATLANTA — An investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York, in coordination with law enforcement partners, has helped dismantle a firearms trafficking ring and resulted in prison sentences for four people who conspired to buy guns in the metro Atlanta area that were later smuggled to the Dominican Republic.

“These defendants took steps to disguise dozens of illegally acquired firearms using everyday household items further hidden in shipping containers,” said HSI New York Special Agent in Charge Ivan J. Arvelo. “Proactive and collaborative law enforcement played a vital role in thwarting the illicit trafficking of deadly weapons both in the United States and overseas. I commend HSI New York’s Border Enforcement Security Task Force; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia for their unwavering commitment to the public’s safety.”

According to the investigation, in 2021, Jonathan Hiraldo Abreu, 31, of Reading, Pennsylvania, contacted Cornel Rashard Miley, 31, to inquire about a firearm Miley advertised for sale. Hiraldo Abreu met Miley in Georgia to purchase the gun. Miley then agreed that he and his wife, Charqweshia Sierra Miley, 33, would acquire additional firearms for Hiraldo Abreu in exchange for a premium paid for each gun. To obtain the additional guns, the Mileys repeatedly deceived licensed firearms dealers by falsely certifying at the point of sale that they were purchasing the firearms. In fact, Hiraldo Abreu was the actual purchaser who provided the money to the Mileys and told them which guns to buy. Within less than seven months, the Mileys purchased at least 73 firearms for Hiraldo Abreu, all of which were Glock 9-mm semiautomatic pistols.

Hiraldo Abreu traveled from Pennsylvania to Georgia in November 2021, December 2021, February 2022 and April 2022 to pick up guns from the Mileys. In June 2022, Hiraldo Abreu recruited his cousin, Jose Munoz, 21, who was living in Cranston, Rhode Island, to manage the gun purchases in his place. Munoz met Hiraldo Abreu in Pennsylvania, traveled to Georgia, directed the Mileys’ purchase of 22 firearms, and then returned to Hiraldo Abreu’s home. Within approximately three weeks, nine of the firearms that the Mileys purchased under Munoz’s supervision were recovered during an X-ray inspection of a shipping container in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic. The guns had been stashed inside the container with various household goods without having been declared or approved for export.

Although the Mileys were Georgia residents when they bought guns for Hiraldo Abreu between November 2021 and April 2022, they relocated to Arizona in June 2022. Hiraldo Abreu paid the Mileys to fly back to Georgia so they could falsely claim Georgia residency and buy more guns for him in July 2022. After returning to Arizona, the Mileys were arrested when officers observed them operating a vehicle with a fictitious license plate. The Mileys were armed, and a search of their vehicle uncovered more than 3,200 rounds of ammunition, nearly three dozen handgun magazines, and body armor.

After the defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make a false statement to a federally licensed firearms dealer in connection with the acquisition of a firearm, U.S. District Judge Sarah E. Geraghty sentenced them as follows:

  • Hiraldo Abreu was sentenced to four years and two months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.
  • Charqweshia Sierra Miley, of Lithonia, Georgia, and Golden Valley, Arizona, was sentenced to two years and three months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.
  • Cornel Rashard Miley, of Lithonia, Georgia, and Golden Valley, Arizona, was sentenced to two years and three months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.
  • Munoz was sentenced to one year and one month in prison followed by two years of supervised release.

“These sentences were made possible through close coordination between our federal, local, and international law enforcement partners,” said Special Agent Edwin Lopez, who serves as the HSI attach to the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo. “Our thanks especially goes out to the Dominican Republic’s Transnational Criminal Investigative Unit, which contributed significantly to the final outcome of this investigation.”

“Firearms traffickers present an immediate danger to communities within and outside our district,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “We are committed to working with our federal, state, local and international partners to disrupt the illegal flow of firearms by identifying and prosecuting those who illegally purchase and traffic these weapons.”

“Among ATF’s top priorities is ensuring that firearms traffickers are aggressively investigated and swiftly brought to justice,” said ATF Atlanta Assistant Special Agent in Charge Alicia Jones. “This is an excellent example of such an investigation that was worked cooperatively by multiple partner agencies with outstanding results.”

This case was investigated by HSI and the ATF with assistance from the New York City Police Department, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security, and the Dominican Republic’s customs authority, Dirección General de Aduanas.

Last Updated: 04/29/2024
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