Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

NYPD Cop Accused of Smuggling Assault Rifles

Law enforcement officials say he conspired with his brother, a customs agent at LAX

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An NYPD cop and his customs agent brother are accused of running a weapons-smuggling scheme that shipped high-powered assault rifles, some capable of piercing buildings, out of the country, according to law enforcement officials. Jonathan Dienst reports. (Published Friday, Sep 6, 2013)

    An NYPD cop and his customs agent brother are accused of running a weapons-smuggling scheme that shipped high-powered assault rifles, some capable of piercing buildings, out of the country, according to law enforcement officials.

    Rex Maralit, 44, who worked at One Police Plaza in Manhattan, is accused in federal court of conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act, and unlicensed firearm dealing. His brother, Wilfredo Maralit, a customs agent assigned to Los Angeles Airport, is expected to be charged in California.

    Law enforcement officials tell NBC 4 New York the NYPD officer and his brother used their law enforcement credentials to purchase guns and gun parts through the Internet. The brothers then shipped the weapons and parts to a third brother in the Philippines, identified as Arial Maralit, who would sell them.

    The brothers sent the guns and gun parts in disguised packages, labeled as containing such things as industrial sliding door tracks, officials said.

    Through court-authorized searches of the defendants' email accounts, authorities found that the brothers regularly emailed pictures of themselves holding the various weapons, including assault rifles.

    Some of the assault rifles were military-grade.

    Lawyer information for the brothers was not immediately available.