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Man Arrested After Guns Wrapped In Christmas Paper Found In Suitcase

December 19, 1988

CHICAGO (AP) _ The two Uzi submachine guns were gift-wrapped in Christmas paper, but police think a man arrested at O’Hare International Airport didn’t intend them as holiday presents for his family in the Philippines.

Lamberto Camacho, 44, an automotive lab technician from Ohio, is believed to have been running guns part-time to the Philippines, authorities said.

Police said the arrest occurred Sunday as Camacho prepared to put his wife and two children on a Northwest Airlines jet bound for Manila. The weapons were found in the family’s checked baggage after a routine X-ray detected an Uzi wrapped in clothes in one suitcase.

Camacho has been charged with unlawful use of a weapon and attempting to board an airplane with weapons, and faced arraignment on federal charges today, said Police Sgt. John Fanning.

Authorities who arrested Camacho also seized seven handguns, plus spare parts and clips for several more, said Patrolman Edward Riordan.

Riordan said police found six .357-caliber Magnum revolvers in the false bottom of a cardboard box Camacho was allegedly sending back to the Philippines. Authorities also found a .45-caliber automatic hidden inside a microwave oven in another box, Riordon said.

″We think this guy is a part-time gunrunner,″ Fanning said. ″He told us the extra parts were for weapons that already had gone through previously.″

″Apparently, there’s a lot of money to be made running guns into a place where there’s political unrest,″ Fanning added.

Fanning said Camacho, of Defiance, Ohio, works as a lab technician for General Motors Corp.

Camacho was interviewed by the FBI, and investigators from both the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Customs Service.

Riordan said Camacho was later taken to the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a federal prison in downtown Chicago.

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