RIVERSIDE, California – A United Parcel Service driver was arrested this afternoon on federal gun trafficking charges for allegedly stealing dozens of guns going through the shipping company’s Ontario hub and providing them to an associate who sold the weapons in underground transactions.
Curtis Hays, 36, of Rancho Cucamonga, was arrested without incident by special agents with the ATF. Hays is expected to be arraigned this afternoon in United States District Court.
The associate who allegedly sold some of the firearms – Dennis Dell White Jr., 35, of Moreno Valley – will be summoned to appear in federal court for an arraignment in the coming weeks.
The 16-count indictment, which was filed on July 23, alleges that Hays stole a series of packages containing guns that were supposed to be delivered to Turner’s Outdoorsman in Rancho Cucamonga. The indictment also accused Hays of stealing jewelry and mobile phones that were supposed to be delivered to other retailers, and this merchandise also was allegedly given to White.
Hays allegedly provided the firearms to White, who illegally sold the weapons to other individuals, and some of the guns then were sold to others. The firearms included 12-gauge shotguns and .45-caliber handguns.
Hays and White are charged with conspiracy; six counts of theft of firearms; six counts of receipt and possession of stolen firearms; and two counts of theft, receipt, and possession of good in interstate commerce.
White is additionally charged with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
The conspiracy count carries a statutory maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. The weapons charges each carry a potential penalty of 10 years in prison. The stolen goods charges each carry a maximum possible penalty of five years in prison. And, if convicted of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, White could face up to an additional 10 years in prison.
The investigation into the stolen firearms was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, in conjunction with the Ontario Police Department, the Moreno Valley Police Department and UPS Security.