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?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before