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No Guns founder pleads not guilty to gun charges

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The founder of an antiviolence group called No Guns pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal weapons charges.

Hector “Big Weasel” Marroquin is accused of selling an assault rifle, a machine gun, two pistols and two silencers to undercover federal agents last fall. He could face up to 50 years in prison if convicted.

Marroquin, 51, of Downey, is a onetime member of the 18th Street gang who founded No Guns in 1996. No Guns received $1.5 million from the city as a subcontractor on anti-gang efforts, but its contract was canceled last year.

Marroquin is charged with three counts of manufacture, distribution and transport for sale of an unlawful assault weapon, along with one count each of machine gun conversion and possession of a silencer. He remains free on $260,000 bail.

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