SAN DIEGO – Convicted felon Paul Joseph Holdy was arrested this morning and charged with multiple federal drug- and gun-related offenses after a long-term investigation revealed that he was allegedly trafficking heroin and firearms from his La Jolla residence.
As alleged in the complaint and search warrants unsealed today, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Federal Bureau of Investigation began the investigation in the summer of 2016. Undercover agents conducted multiple controlled purchases of firearms and narcotics from Holdy, some of which Holdy manufactured himself from unfinished lower receivers. In total, law enforcement purchased 19 firearms, including short-barrel machine guns, assault rifles, and handguns, along with multiple silencers from Holdy.
Due to his prior felony conviction for possession of a controlled substance for sale, Holdy is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law. ATF records showed that Holdy lacked a Federal Firearms License, which would allow him to engage in the business of importing, manufacturing, or dealing in firearms.
During the arrest today, investigators executed three search warrants and seized one additional machine gun and two gallons of suspected GHB. Holdy is scheduled to be arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge David H. Bartick at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow.
“Illegally manufacturing and brokering the sale of guns and drugs on the streets of San Diego poses a tremendous danger to our community,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Alana W. Robinson. “Prosecuting firearms offenses is a top priority for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and we will continue our efforts to disrupt the availability of illegal guns in our city.”
“Firearms traffickers are responsible for the crimes committed with the guns they provide to felons and gang members,” said ATF Los Angeles Field Division Special Agent in Charge Eric Harden. “Felons cannot skirt the system by manufacturing and selling untraceable firearms from unfinished lower receivers. ATF will use its resources to strategically target and identify these criminals and interrupt the illegal flow of firearms to those who are prohibited from possessing firearms under the law.”
“Illegal firearms and narcotics trafficking cannot be tolerated on our streets,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric S. Birnbaum. “The FBI will continue to identify, disrupt and dismantle these traffickers in order to keep our communities safe.”
This case is also the result of the ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) a partnership that brings together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, dismantle and prosecute high-level members of drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations and enterprises.