Gun used in wounding of BSO deputy is traced to first buyer
Federal agents have arrested a man they say provided the gun used to shoot a BSO deputy.
Posted on Thu, Aug. 16, 2007Digg it del.icio.us reprint or license print email
BY ROBBYN MITCHELLrmitchell@MiamiHerald.com
BROWARD SHERIFF'S OFFICE
Broward Sheriff's Office Deputy Maury Hernandez was wounded in a shooting and is hospitalized in critical condition.U.S. attorneys are making a case against a South Florida man who allegedly bought and sold the gun used in the near-fatal shooting of Broward Sheriff's Deputy Maury Hernandez.
Miguel Angel Polanco, of Miami Lakes, was arrested by agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, based on information obtained in an interview he had with BSO homicide investigators Aug. 8, court records show.
ATF Special Agent Carlos Baixauli said Polanco was arrested Monday.
Polanco told investigators he bought the .45-caliber Glock 30 pistol from Big Al's Gun & Pawn, 3300 W. Hallandale Beach Blvd., in Pembroke Park on May 20, while the alleged gunman, David Maldonado, was with him.
The crime report also states it was the second gun purchased at the store for Maldonado, who paid Polanco $350 to buy them, plus the cost of the weapons.
Polanco has been charged with making a false statement to buy a firearm. Polanco was not licensed to sell guns and it is illegal to sell a weapon to someone on probation for a felony, as Maldonado was, authorities said.
Polanco was released Monday after posting bail.
Former shop owner Richard D'Onofrio said he is sure his son and daughter, who currently run Big Al's, followed all the procedures for sale of a firearm.
He explained most gun shops work with law enforcement agencies from time to time to run a trace on a weapon.
''We usually are not told why we are running a trace unless it is a local case then the police may come in to ask questions,'' he said.
Big Al's Gun & Pawn opened in 1989 and expanded to include a gun range in 1994.
As gravely wounded Deputy Maury Hernandez lay in a hospital, investigators searched the Miramar home of David Maldonado and ound its walls decorated with targets from a shooting range.
Hernandez remains in the hospital in critical condition.
D'Onofrio said the shop is committed to doing everything it can to help the police investigation.
Maldonado has been charged with attempted murder. Hernandez remains hospitalized in critical condition.
D'Onofrio, 61, expressed sympathy for the Hernandez family.
''Hopefully, he'll live and make a full recovery,'' he said. ``Attacking a deputy is worse than a civilian attack because it shows no respect for the people who dedicate their lives to our safety.''