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Investigators: Tire shop was front for illegal gun sales
March 17, 2015 – 02:54 pm
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Federal prosecutors have filed criminal charges against two men who they said were operating an illegal gun-trafficking operation at a Citrus Heights tire shop.

According to a complaint filed Thursday, Mohammad Javed and Alphonso Harris II sold dozens of rifles and pistols to an undercover agent and an informant at S-&-S Tires on Auburn Boulevard.

Investigators said neither has a license to sell firearms.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted a year-long investigation that culminated in the charges, according to the complaint.

In February, SWAT officers from the Citrus Heights Police Department and others raided the tire shop and two other locations.

"We came to work that day and there was some SWAT guys over on the cemetery. And they just told us - they didn't give us any details - that we could not access our office, that we just had to hang back, " said Ron Clark, who works nearby.

Investigators said some of the weapons they found had been stolen and at least one had its serial numbers scratched off.

"Yeah, that's scary, to be right here, " Clark said.

The tire shop was open for business on Friday, and employees declined to comment about the charges.

"I'm surprised, " customer Joe Dorsett said.

He said he has visited the shop several times over the last few months and never noticed anything suspicious.

"They've always been fair-priced and honest, " Dorsett said.

Lt. Michael Wells said people who buy illegal guns often do so to avoid the required background check.

"This is likely done because of a criminal history that will be discovered during the background check of the individual or the goal of achieving a firearm in which the owner is untraceable, " wrote Wells in an email to KCRA 3.

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