Reseda man charged in federal case after authorities seize dozens of 'ghost guns,' 16 pounds of meth

RESEDA, LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- A federal grand jury on Tuesday charged a San Fernando Valley man with selling a total of nearly 16 pounds of methamphetamine and 89 firearms, including dozens of "ghost guns,'' or firearms that lack serial numbers.

Julio Ernesto Lopez-Menendez, 26, of Reseda, was charged in a 13-count indictment with four counts of distribution of methamphetamine, one count of engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license, four counts of possession of unregistered firearms, and four counts of possession of firearms not identified by serial numbers, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Lopez-Menendez's arraignment is scheduled for May 5 in Los Angeles federal court. He has been in federal custody since his April 14 arrest on a criminal complaint in the case.

The indictment alleges a series of transactions involving Lopez-Menendez from Jan. 6 to April 7, 2022. The transactions typically involved large numbers of firearms and, sometimes, pound quantities of methamphetamine, according to prosecutors.

Some firearms sold were so-called "ghost guns,'' named because of their lack of a serial number. Such guns are often assembled from parts purchased separately or in a kit. Because the separate parts do not bear serial numbers, the assembled ghost guns do not bear serial numbers, and they cannot be registered or traced.

If convicted, Lopez-Menendez would face between 10 years and life in federal prison for each distribution of methamphetamine charge. He would face up to five years in prison for the unlicensed firearms business charge, 10 years in federal prison for each possession of an unregistered firearm count, and 10 years in federal prison for each count of possession of a firearm without a serial number, prosecutors said.
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