WINDSOR, Colo. (CBS4) – Two Colorado men with no known ties to each other have been scooped up by federal agents in schemes in which gun parts have been shipped to foreign countries. Gun parts were discovered in shipments to Saudi Arabia and Columbia.
They were found in packages labeled as baseball bats and other items.
Valentino Lopez of Pueblo was sentenced to 14 months in prison.
Mike Suppes, 45, of Windsor, pleaded not guilty to charges of smuggling gun parts out of the United States to Saudi Arabia, India, Cambodia and plans to ship to Mexico according to court documents.
A federal terrorism task force ordered a seizure of packages marked “toys” with a Fort Collins return address. Remote control operated cars were found inside, but there were also gun parts hidden in the toys.
The packages were sent from UPS store locations in Windsor and Fort Collins with a fictitious return address.
Using a website, stamps.com, Homeland Security agents were able to trace the shipper and make an arrest. Suppes pleaded not guilty to eight counts including possession of unregistered firearms.
CBS4’s Rick Sallinger approached him as he left court free on bond, but with a monitoring device.
“Can I ask you how you feel about the charges?” Sallinger asked.
Suppes’ public defender responded that they have “no comment at this time.”
Court documents claim Suppes made parts out his Windsor home where he lives. His company is called MJS Peformance deals in motorcycle parts, according to its website. But undercover agents set up a sting to buy $10,000 worth of assault rifles, hand guns, magazines and ammunition claiming its destination was Mexico.
The agents also ordered dozens of AR-15 and AK-47s for $82,000. Walmarts were used by the agents in their sting to wire Suppes payment via MoneyGram.
He was taken into custody on the same day as the planned delivery, and his customers turned out to be federal agents.