Officials: Phoenix gun dealer sold to drug cartels
May 6th, 2008 @ 5:09pm
by Jim Cross and Jana Baybado/KTAR
A Phoenix gun store raided by federal and state officials Tuesday provided hundreds of assault rifles and other guns to violent drug cartels in Mexico, where such weapons are used in deadly confrontations between rival cartels and against law enforcement officers, officials said.
The gun store's owner, George Iknadosian, 46, was arrested following the raid, as were two Mexican brothers who authorities say recruited "straw buyers" to go into X Caliber Guns near Cave Creek and Thunderbird roads and purchase weapons that would then be trafficked to the drug cartels.
Iknadosian knew where the guns would end up, said Carlos Baixauli, a special agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He said Iknadosian sold at least 650 firearms to drug cartels through the straw buyers.