Former CBP commander faces 25 years for illegally selling firearms, tax evasion
- By Sherkiya Wedgeworth
- Jul 19, 2019
A California man used his position as a former U.S. Customs and Border Protection official to run an illegal firearm sales business since the late 1990s, and also pleaded guilty to tax evasion and other charges.
Wei Xu—a former commander at the Long Beach Seaport in California on July 17 in an Los Angeles court — pleaded guilty to four felonies: unlawfully engaging in the business of dealing in firearms, unlawfully possessing unregistered firearms, making materially false statements to a federal agency, and tax evasion.
The false statements to a federal agency charge involves Xu failing to disclose his foreign financial interests and contacts in China in order to obtain a secret-level security clearance from the Office of Personnel and Management.
According to the Department of Justice, in open court, Xu said he sold at least 99 firearms without the required federal license between the late 1990s and his arrest earlier this year, and he also lied on an OPM questioneer that he had no ongoing business relationships with China or had foreign financial interests, though he did.
“Mr. Xu’s public life as a federal officer masked his private greed and disrespect for the law, which he demonstrated through illegal weapons sales, tax evasion, and lying about contacts with foreign nationals,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna, said in a statement, adding, “Public officials promise to act with integrity when they take an oath of office, and we will zealously prosecute those who mock the laws they have sworn to uphold.”
He faces up to 25 years in prison. Learn more about the case here.