Maine gun dealer indicted for illegally exporting guns, money laundering

A federally licensed firearms dealer from Waterville, Maine, has been charged with illegally exporting guns, smuggling and money laundering.

Central Maine reported 49-year-old Iulian Petre is set to be arraigned on Friday in federal court in Bangor on an indictment charging the man with 17 different counts. Petre pleaded not guilty to charges from an older indictment last month.

The new indictment, filed July 12, charges that Petre illegally transported or received a total of 10 firearms from eight different states from Aug. 2012 to Aug. 2013. During that time, the defendant also allegedly illegally exported and smuggled three firearms and promoted money laundering by wiring $11,980 to Romania.

Other court documents allege that in the fall of 2007, Petre shipped 16 guns to Romania through the U.S. Postal Service. However, according to an affidavit filed by Homeland Security special agent Loren Thresher, those shipments were not included in the charges.

The affidavit specifies that Petre told authorities he had taken a gun to Romania in his luggage and that agents told him to stop all shipments until he obtained proper authorization from the Commerce and State Departments.

The affidavit also shows that Petre tried to take three handguns to Romania in December 2007. When agents found the handguns, Petre told them he was taking them to a friend and did not want to wait for authorization.

When inspecting his premises in June 2014, investigators with the ATF also found evidence Petre had shipped more guns to Romania without the proper permits.

Petre could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of money laundering and up to 10 years for the other charges.