A Port St. Lucie man is alleged to be behind a massive, four-year-long gun-running operation illegally sending firearms to Brazil.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced the four-count indictment against 46-year-old Frederik Barbieri. The felony charges include conspiracy to commit offenses against the U.S., delivering firearms to a contract carrier without notice of items, smuggling firearms and firearm accessories from the United States to Brazil, and exporting firearms and firearm accessories without a license.
Barbieri’s operation started in May 2013 and ran to June 2017, the indictment reads. He and unidentified co-conspirators bought firearms, related accessories and ammunition, and “obliterated” serial numbers before shipping the items to South America.
They concealed the items in various packages and shipped them without declaring the firearms, accessories and ammunition to the shipper.
Once the items arrived in Brazil, according to the indictment, Barbieri and his co-conspirators would then sell the items at a profit. The charges carry maximum sentences ranging from five to 20 years. If convicted on all four, he faces 40 years at the most if the sentences run consecutively.
“An indictment is only an allegation, and every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” the prepared statement from the U.S. Department of Justice states.