Georgia Man Charged Charged in Gun Smuggling Scheme

Stock image of firearm and ammunition from Shutterstock.

Tyrone Ortiz, 37, of Rex, Georgia appeared before Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller yesterday for an advice of rights hearing following his arrest for possession of three firearms with obliterated serial numbers, according to a release from the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Virgin Islands.

Court records indicate authorities allege that on March 10, Customs and Border Protection officers in San Juan, PR seized a package that contained three handguns with obliterated serial numbers. The handguns were allegedly concealed inside large surge protectors, and the package was addressed to a post office box on St. Thomas, reportedly from a sender located in Locust Grove, Georgia.

According to the release, postal records indicate that both the names and addresses on the package were not associated with the actual addresses, and that the addresses were invalid.

Court records reportedly show the telephone number listed on the shipping label of the package was the phone number for Ortiz.

On March 11, Homeland Security in San Juan Puerto Rico transferred the package to St. Thomas, and on March 15 agents removed the guns and placed sham firearms in the package.

Authorities allege Ortiz later collected the package from the post office, and agents tracked the package to Ortiz’s family home in the Estate Tutu area. Ortiz was taken into custody and, according to court records, admitted that he was responsible for both shipping and receiving the U.S. Postal Service package. Ortiz also allegedly admitted that he was aware it contained firearms.