Enfant terrible of arms dealing in prison after sting operation

A little over three years ago, Efraim Diveroli was a precocious 22-year-old arms dealer celebrating landing what must be one of the more extraordinary pieces of business to come out of the war in Afghanistan: the sale for $300m (£195m) of 40-year-old Chinese bullets to the American military. Yesterday, he was cooling his heels in a Florida jail cell after being arrested with just a few hundred rounds of ammunition in the back of his car.

Mr Diveroli's arrest marks the conclusion of an extraordinary descent from the cusp of moguldom to a future that may very well lie in prison. His downfall began when he was accused of trying to sell banned weapons, and pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge. Now 24, a little older but apparently no wiser, he faces fresh accusations of possessing firearms as a convicted felon. If the federal authorities are right, this young man just can't quit when it comes to guns and bullets. As he is caught on tape telling one of the agents who arrested him: "Once a gun-runner, always a gun-runner."

At first glance, Mr Diveroli's entry in to the complex world of arms dealing was an extraordinary success. But before very long after it had entered into the deal, the Pentagon had reason to be very unhappy with its new supplier. With a little repackaging and obscuring of labelling, Mr Diveroli had shipped decades-old Kalashnikovs as well as banned and thoroughly degraded ammunition from China, procured via Albania, that dated back to the Sixties.

His guilty plea to a conspiracy charge as a result of that saga left him on the streets pending sentencing in November. But there were conditions set by the judge: he was to remain in the county area of Miami and under no circumstances was he to touch a gun. Did he comply? Not quite, say agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives which had begun investigating him again earlier this year.

The cuffs went on again last week after Mr Diveroli met with undercover agents of the Bureau north of his restricted area of movement around Miami, looked at some guns with them and, in his enthusiasm, rushed to Wal-Mart to buy bullets so they might go shooting. Then he was arrested. Facing charges of possessing firearms as a convicted felon, he is now in custody without bail.

Conversations with undercover agents taped over recent weeks include snippets about how the defendant "was shooting at the range" one day and how on another "he and a friend were recently hunting alligators, white tail deer and hogs in the Everglades" with a .50-calibre black-powder rifle. The violation of his court conditions was therefore flagrant, the government contends.

More serious for Mr Diveroli, however, is an 18-page affidavit saying that his return to the world of firearms is more than just recreational. Agents claim he has set up a front company called Advanced Munitions to solicit new gun-trading business.

The court filings describe Mr Diveroli telling an agent that he was a consultant for a company looking to shift "100-round ammunition drums" from a South Korean factory to the US at the rate of roughly 120,000 units annually. On another occasion he allegedly boasted having rifle cartridges for sale. The new complaint says that Mr Diveroli "has a large stock of ammunition in the United States" and "has been unloading his ammunition the last couple of years".

Mr Diveroli's first scam with the Pentagon was blown open initially in 2008 by an investigation begun by The New York Times. The US army rescinded all dealings with him and his company AEY Inc. The embarrassment was all the more acute because the Pentagon had been duped by a man barely old enough to fight.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Analyst - 12 Month FTC - Entry Level

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Chefs - All Levels

£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Engineer

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive & Customer Service - Call Centre Jobs!

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high