Armenian avaricious arms dealer goes on trial in New York

Armenian avaricious arms dealer goes on trial in New York
# 23 June 2007 08:53 (UTC +04:00)
In opening arguments, prosecutor David Massey that said between 2003 and 2005, Solomonyan and Spies, who he said were the ringleaders, had sold one machine gun and seven assault rifles to an informant, and showed him photos of missiles and other weapons that they said were also for sale.
"All these weapons were about money, plain and simple," said Massey, saying he was greedy for a fast buck.
Solomonyan lawyer Seth Ginsberg said his client knew nothing about importing weapons when a government informant dangled the possibility of getting a green card to stay in the United States if he could arrange some weapons sales.
He said Solomonyan had no intention of importing weapons but just wanted to string along the informant long enough to get a green card.
He said his client produced an outdated price list for weapons as a way to keep the informant working on his green card.
The trial was delayed once before when the government informant, Kelly Davis, was hospitalized with stomach and chest pains and put on suicide watch.
Massey said the case began when one of the defendants approached Davis to ask about the sale of machine guns.
The prosecutor said Davis reported the offer to law enforcement, which initiated an investigation as Davis began making recordings, generating hundreds of pages of reports.
Solomonyan was charged with arms trafficking conspiracy, firearms trafficking conspiracy, interstate firearms trafficking and illegal transfer and possession of a machine gun in March 2005. If convicted, some defendants could face up to life in prison. /APA /