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OC man pleads in ATF case, gives up guns

The ATF announced Tuesday a guilty verdict and recovery of weapons from gun sales from another state.

September 13, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced Tuesday a suspect pleaded guilty to furnishing false statements to acquire 40 firearms from another state.

Costa Mesa resident Christopher Mathwig, 38, pleaded guilty Tuesday. He is scheduled to be sentenced in November. Mathwig also agreed to forfeit more than 34 firearms illegally obtained from Calvary Arms Corp., an Arizona company.

In February, Shawn Nealon, the owner of Calvary Arms Corp., pleaded guilty to illegally selling firearms to out-of-state resident Mathwig. Mathwig was sold 36 firearms, including AK-47 and AR-15 type rifles, shotguns and handguns, according to the ATF. The ATF alleges Nealon, a federally licensed firearms dealer, knew Mathwig was an out-of-state resident.

Nealon was sentenced to three years in prison, community service and a $10,000 fine.

"ATF takes violations of the Gun Control Act very seriously, and will prosecute individuals, like Mathwig, who illegally acquire firearms," said John A. Torres, special agent in charge of the Los Angeles Field Division of ATF. "His guilty plea is a result of an investigation which not only struck at the dealers involved in illegal firearms sales, but also targeted those recipients whose actions violated federal law."

Anyone with information about firearms trafficking or the illegal possession of firearms is encouraged to call ATF at (800) ATF-GUNS. Callers can remain anonymous.