Felons met at Ramada Inn garage to sell guns as part of sting

Among those indicted in California as part of a record-setting sweep by federal agents last month were two men who made a series of sales in at a San Francisco motel.

Kermit Daryl Tanner, Jr and Brian Esqueda Perez were indicted along with more than 40 other defendants in federal court as part of Operation Cold Day. They charged with numerous weapons violations after an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

According to court documents, over a three-week period last January the pair, who had criminal records that prevented them from possessing firearms, set up gun sales with a third party through text messages and phone calls. Meeting three times in an underground parking garage at a Ramada Inn in South San Francisco, the men sold an Xtreme Machining AR-15 style .223 rifle, a Springfield XD 9mm pistol, and a Savage Edge .308 rifle. In all, $3,150 changed hands.

In each buy, Tanner allegedly placed a bag or container holding the gun and ammunition in the buyer’s vehicle and even pointed out issues relating to the firearm. Before each sale, photos and a description of the gun were exchanged via text message.

Following an indictment issued last month, Tanner and Perez were charged with six different counts of weapons violations including conspiracy to and dealing in firearms without a license and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Arrested on Aug. 8, each was given a $50,000 bond at a detention hearing in front of a U.S. Magistrate Judge this week

Tanner was also indicted in June on felony drug charges, with federal agents alleging that last December he possessed at least 28 grams of cocaine base with the intent to distribute.

ATF Special Agent in Charge Jill Snyder said in a press conference at San Francisco Police Headquarters that the two-year operation in which Tanner and Perez were arrested resulted in the largest number of arrests in the agency’s history.

“We targeted those who created a pipeline to stream firearms into the community and then placed them into the hands of violent criminals,” said Snyder, announcing that over 90 guns were seized or purchased and 115 arrest warrants issued for state and federal crimes.