Skip navigation
Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

South LA Gun Dealer Charged With Illegal Gun Sales

Botach Technical in Leimart Park faces criminal charges for illegally selling guns to civilians.

On a quiet stretch of 43 Place in Leimert Park are two nondescript store fronts with heavy windowpanes and metal gates. The only signal that they are not just abandoned stores are the high tech security cameras that hover on the wall above the entrance to each. Inside are shelves stacked with military issue guns and ammunition. But from the street it looks like just another economically debilitated section of Los Angeles. 

On Tuesday morning, The Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announched criminal charges against Botach Tactical, the gun shop that occupies the two store fronts in Liemert Park. According to Feuer, Botach engaged in the illegal sale of more than one weapon to a civilian in a 30-day period, which is illegal by California law.

Feuer alleges that West Hollywood Community College Security Officer, Amelia Suarez, purchased two 9-millimeter pistols and six high capacity ammunition magazines (which hold 17 rounds each) by giving her an exemption that is only extended to sworn law enforcement officials. 

Suarez allegedly also lied about the purpose of her purchase as she bought it for a friend, who used it in a homicide that took place in Riverside County earlier this year. Officials would not comment on who the friend was as it is an ongoing investigation. 

"We have common sense laws to prevent gun violence on the books for a reason and we are going to be intent on enforcing those laws," Feuer said. 

Multiple misdemeanor charges have been brought against store owner Barkochba Botach and Suarez. If convicted, both face up to a year-and-a-half in jail and at least $1,000 in fines. Suarez has since been let go from her position.

According to City Council President Herb Wesson who represents the area, the store has been riddled with complaints over the years. Neighborhood activists have been trying to find a way to get rid of the store and the new charges laid out by Feuer reaffirm fears that guns sold at the shop wound up in the wrong hands. 

Leimert Park is the future home of a Metro station along the LAX/Crenshaw line. With the new Metro stop and other improvements in the work, the area is poised for a revival

"We've been asked to look into ways to either move this business or close this business down. It is in an area that is at the beginning stages of a new facelift," Wesson said.

There is the suggestion that this particular case was motivated by political and economic factors which happen to coincide with the alleged ilicit activities. 

Leave a comment

We've Moved!

By Sam Bergum
01/21/16 | 11:09 a.m. PST

Visit us at!

USC Basketball Knocks Off Rival UCLA 89- 75

By Scott Cook
01/14/16 | 12:05 a.m. PST

USC defeats UCLA with stellar play from their Freshmen. 

Holiday Bowl - USC vs Wisconsin Post-Game Press Conference

Su'a Cravens: "It's the players that need to step up"

Darreus Rogers: "It comes down to the players"

Trojans Fall to Wisconsin in the Holiday Bowl 23-21

We detected that you might be on a mobile device such as an iPad or iPhone. Sorry, at this time the video box is only visible on desktop computers.