Hovik Dagesian, a 42-year-old man from Burbank, pleaded guilty in September 2023 to one count of engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license and one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Each of the illegal firearms dealing counts carries a sentence of up to five years in federal prison, but the drug distribution count carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Hookah Lounge is Hot Spot for Dealing
According to his plea agreement, Dagesian sold 11 unserialized firearms (“ghost guns”) and methamphetamine out of his hookah lounge in downtown Los Angeles between October 2020 and January 2021. Some of the firearms sold included a 9mm handgun, a 12-gauge shotgun, and an AR-15-type rifle that had no serial number. Collectively, the guns and drugs were worth about $34,250.
Then, in January 2021, law enforcement searched the business and discovered 163.3 grams of methamphetamine, a digital scale, about 215 rounds of ammunition, and several firearms for sale (despite the fact that Dagesian has never held a license to deal, manufacture, or import firearms).
How an Experienced Attorney Can Help
Federal law specifies that people who buy or sell firearms must be licensed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). If an individual sells or buys a firearm without such a license, they could receive a sentence of up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both. As such, even if you pleaded guilty to selling firearms without a license, a qualified criminal defense attorney will work tirelessly to ensure you are not subjected to both prison time and a fine – or will, at the very least, work diligently to ensure these penalties are lessened as much as possible.
Trying to defend yourself without the guidance of a criminal attorney is the worst thing you can do if you are accused of selling firearms without a license or of dealing drugs. At Sigal Law Group, Attorney Vitaly Sigal is an experienced criminal defense attorney from California who knows how to build a robust defense, ensuring you are not unnecessarily punished. Call 818-325-0571 today or schedule a free consultation online.