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Ex-San Diego County sheriff's captain Marco Garmo sentenced for role in gun trafficking ring

Posted at 1:56 PM, Mar 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 22:13:16-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A former San Diego County Sheriff's Department captain was handed his sentence on Friday for his role in a major illegal gun trafficking ring.

A federal judge told Marco Garmo that that his actions displayed arrogance and said it was almost as if he was acting like a mob boss.

ABC 10News' cameras were not allowed inside the downtown San Diego federal courthouse where the judge ordered Garmo to serve two years in prison. He will have to self-surrender to authorities in a few months. Following his term, he'll have three years of supervised release and must pay $8,350 in fines.

Garmo declined to give ABC 10News any comment after the hearing.

ABC 10News was outside the federal courthouse last September when Garmo appeared before a judge to plead guilty to illegally trafficking firearms.


The case stems from the bombshell allegations two years ago that he and four others, including well-known jeweler Leo Hamel and former sheriff's Lieutenant Fred Magana, were wrapped up in a massive gun-running operation.

ABC 10News was there as agents raided Leo Hamel's Fine Jewelers in Old Town. Hamel and Magana pleaded guilty to illegal firearms charges and are scheduled to be sentenced this summer.

Prosecutors argued that Garmo used his position to buy and resell guns that were only intended for law enforcement, not the general public, referred to as "off roster guns."

Over six years, investigators say Garmo sold more than 100 firearms for cash or to collect favors from those who would support him in a future run for sheriff.

Garmo's attorney requested that he be placed in a facility that's close to San Diego so that his wife and young children can visit him.