(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- Federal prosecutors announced on Friday that two Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies have been charged for illegally selling dozens of weapons, ABC affiliate KABC reports.
Deputies Thomas Lu, 42, and Ryan McGowan, 31, both of Elk Grove, are charged with trafficking in handguns that cannot legally be bought by citizens in California. Some of the guns included exotic weapons like high-powered rifles mounted on pistol frames.
The deputies served as straw buyers by purchasing the handguns and then selling them for a profit to unqualified buyers, according to U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagoner.
"When law enforcement officers misuse their badges to funnel dangerous weapons to the highest bidder, they compromise the safety of the public," Wagner said at a news conference. "By putting personal profit ahead of public safety, they undermine the very essence of their duty."
Firearms dealer Robert Snellings, 61, and Ulysses Simpson Grant Early IV, 36, accused of buying guns, have both been charged as well.
Two other police officers, one in Sacramento and the other in Roseville, were implicated in the investigation but have not been charged. Both of the officers have lost their jobs.
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