The brotherhood of the traveling guns

By Cristina DC Pastor

About 10 years ago, police rookie Rex Gene Maralit sued the New York Police Department over a gym accident. That case has since been settled.

Fast forward to 2013.

Rex Maralit, now an NYPD officer, is accused of gun smuggling. Multiple reports say he and two brothers are involved in an operation where Rex and brother Wilfredo in Los Angeles would buy weapons, dismantle them, and ship them to third brother Ariel in the Philippines where they are ultimately sold.

Wilfredo is identified in published reports as a Customs and Border Protection officer assigned at the Los Angeles International Airport. No information is available for Ariel. All three are charged with conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act and unlicensed firearm dealing.

According to the published complaint, the operation took place between January 2009 and March 2013, and the smuggled items included high-powered assault rifles, sniper rifles, pistols and firearms.

“Ariel Maralit identified customers and sought the assistance of his brothers to purchase and ship the weapons for resale overseas. In response to customer orders from the Philippines, the defendants located weapons advertised on firearms-brokering websites and made arrangements to purchase the guns through dealers in the United States. They then disassembled the weapons and smuggled them out of the United States in disguised shipments,” according to WABC.

Rex alleged used law enforcement credentials to secure discounts from gun dealers.

“The brothers sent the guns and gun parts in disguised packages, labeled as containing such things as industrial sliding door tracks,” according to NBC 4 quoting officials. “Through court-authorized searches of the defendants’ email accounts, authorities found that the brothers regularly emailed pictures of themselves holding the various weapons, including assault rifles.”

The published complaint says the brothers face five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

“The defendants are alleged to have illegally exported some of the world’s most powerful firearms with complete disregard as to who the end user would be,” says the complaint quoting James T. Hayes Jr., special agent-in-charge of Homeland Security investigations in New York. “One of the weapons, the Barrett M82A1 .50 caliber semiautomatic rifle, is capable of piercing body armor, walls and aircraft at long range.”

Rex Maralit is slated to appear at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse and Wilfredo at the federal court in Santa Ana, California. The government is working with foreign authorities to apprehend Ariel.

The FilAm was able to locate a 2004 court filing where Rex had sued the NYPD after he was involved in an accident at a gym.

“He was a rookie then with the NY Police Academy and was seeking damages,” according to The FilAm court sources. The case was settled before trial in 2008 before the NY Supreme Court.

Rex’s LinkedIn account identifies him as a police officer at NYPD who lives in Trenton, New Jersey.

red line

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: