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3. Dotallo de un fusil FAL. Cal. 7,62 m. NATO mostrando el orificio practicado en la parte derecha del

alojamiento del cargador.




Mr. HUBBARD. The subcommittee now stands in recess. [Recess taken from 1:35 p.m. until 2 p.m.)


Mr. HUBBARD. The subcommittee will again come to order.
Our apologies for being later than we anticipated.

Our next witness is Hon. Richard J. Davis, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Enforcement and Operations.

It is a pleasure to have you, Mr. Davis, to testify before our subcommittee and it is a pleasure to have the visiting Members of Congress who are sitting in with us.


Mr. Davis. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee.

We are here today in response to your request for testimony concerning various investigations conducted by Treasury law enforcement agents into a series of firearms transactions in Miami, Fla. These investigations, which are still ongoing, have resulted in one indictment which is now pending in the southern district of Florida. Some aspects of this matter are now before the Grand Jury.

In appearing here today, there are two considerations about which the committee should be aware.

First: Because the underlying facts involve evidence in both a pending trial and an ongoing investigation, we are seriously restricted as to what we can say in public session. As described previously to the committee staff, our public testimony will be limited to describing those materials already formally in the public record. To do otherwise could jeopardize the ability of the United States to conduct the trial of this matter and to successfully complete these inquiries, consequences neither we, nor we are sure, the committee, desire.

Second: Since these events are still under investigation, the state of our knowledge is necessarily in flux and, as to some aspects, incomplete. With these cautions in mind, I would like to describe the current state of these investigations.

An indictment was filed in Miami charging Jose Pujol, an employee of Air Panama, Carlos Wittgreen, a Panamanian, Walter McComas, an exporter, James Howell, owner of Public Safety Associates, and Jose Alvarez, firearms dealer, with conspiring to violate the Gun Control Act by dealing in firearms without proper licenses and with failing to maintain required records.

Mr. Alvarez was also charged with certain recordkeeping violations. The transactions referred to in the indictment included .30caliber M-1 rifles, pistols and ammunition. The indictment states that a number of these firearms were transported to Panama. While an affidavit filed in connection with the arrest of Mr. Pujol quotes him as saying these weapons would be going to Nicaraguan guerrilla forces, the indictment does not contain this allegation and the case filed does not specifically relate to any export violations.

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The affidavit also refers to the participation of the Panamanian Consul in Miami, Edgardo Lopez, in these violations. These documents are attached to my statement.

In addition, a related investigation is also in progress concerning certain weapons which were shipped from Miami to Panama under legal licenses issued by the Office of Munitions Control in the State Department.

The licenses authorized shipment of 250 weapons to Caza y Pesca-hunting and fishing-a company in Panama. Certain weapons traced to these shipments, we have been informed, have been seized in Nicaragua.

The purpose of this investigation is to determine whether there has been any criminal violation of the Arms Export Control Act by diverting weapons contrary to the terms of the license. Some of the weapons brought to this country by Nicaraguan officials in the last several days are involved in this inquiry.

This completes my prepared statement. Consistent with the limitations existing on what can be said in public session, I will be prepared to answer any questions you may have.

Mr. HUBBARD. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

It is the subcommittee's understanding that a criminal action is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, regarding alleged conspiracies to wrongfully introduce firearms into foreign commerce, and that the pendency of that case will necessarily circumscribe some of your responses.

Is that correct?
Mr. Davis. That is correct.

Mr. HUBBARD. The Chair wishes to reiterate that the subcommittee will in no way jeapordize, undermine or influence that pending proceeding; and will make every effort to elicit facts already in the public domain which will not materially hamper the prosecution of that case.

With that understanding, would you please outline for the subcommittee the facts surrounding the issuance of the indictments in the case of U.S. v. Pujol?

Mr. Davis. As I referred to in summary form in my opening statement, that indictment was filed in the southern district of Florida. It was filed on May 9, 1979, and the arrests were made over the ensuing days of four of the five participants.

Generally, it describes and alleges that a conspiracy beginning on or about August 1, 1978, up to and including the end of January 29, 1979, took place and that these various defendants participated in that conspiracy which involved dealing in firearms when they were not licensees, and not, therefore, allowed to do so.

The indictment goes on to allege that these firearms or a substantial portion of them, were then transported in foreign commerce from Miami to the Republic of Panama.

I should say, however, as I referred to in my opening statement, that the offenses charged in this case are not export violations.

The indictment then describes in a series of overt acts, numbering 20, many of the various transactions in terms of numbers of firearms, in some cases giving a specific description such as the .30caliber M-1 rifles, and where they were purchased from, and who

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