The City of Savannah "has weighed in on a continuing investigation by Metro’s newly assigned drug unit into the actions of a Savannah businessman selling illegal military weapons to convicted felons with a court order to padlock the business’ building," a spokesperson says.
City revenue officers joined by the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department Undercover Narcotics Investigation Team (UNIT) officers, Crime Suppression Units and federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents, convened on the buildings on the 5500 block of Montgomery Street at 2 p.m. today.
They served a court order by Recorder’s Court Chief Judge Tammy Stokes signed Thursday ordering Jamie L. Defrietas, wife of owner Wesley Defrietas and president of the company, to cease operating Warriors Gear, LLC, based on violations of the city tax certificate.
"Wesley Defrietas is on bond for a federal indictment stemming from a search of the building in May 2014 and is ordered to appear in court May 11 to show cause why he should be allowed to continue operating the business," the spokesman says.
The court order mentions that military rifle cleaning kits, silencers, firearms components and accessories, gas masks, body armor, small arms protective inserts, explosives, firearms, high capacity rifle magazines and ammunition were being stored and sold at the locations. It also points out that Warriors Gear continued to receive and sell such items after the first search warrant was served in 2014.
ATF, UNIT, CSU and Explosive Ordnance Device (bomb squad) officers have executed various raids on the businesses and storage facilities and have determined that the weapons, many of them illegal for civilian use, had been sold to convicted felons and others.
“After hearing sworn testimony, I conclude that it (court order) is in the best interest of the citizens of the City of Savannah,” Stokes’ order reads.
The investigation into the operation is continuing and additional charges and arrests are expected.