Eight members of a sophisticated international smuggling ring traveled to Atlantic City, N.J., last weekend expecting to attend a lavish wedding aboard a yacht. But the bride and groom were undercover FBI agents who had been working on the case since 1999, and the wedding guests were arrested. The wedding invitations were sent by federal prosecutors.
The undercover operation resulted in the indictment of 57 people on charges ranging from conspiracy to import assault weapons to drug dealing and racketeering. Parallel investigations in New Jersey and California resulted in 87 indictments, with 59 arrests nationwide, the Department of Justice announced. Two people indicted in New Jersey allegedly made a $1 million deal with undercover agents to provide 1,200 AK-47 assault rifles, 50 rocket launchers, 50 anti-tank missiles, 100 submachine guns and 100 pistols with silencers. Over six years, investigators seized more than $4.5 million in counterfeit currency, 45,100 Ecstasy pills and 4 1/2 kilos of methamphetamine and $42 million worth of illegal cigarettes.