Texans Enter Plea in Arms Case
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Two Texas women arrested in a Washington motel room where police found a cache of high-powered weapons pleaded guilty Thursday to misdemeanor gun possession charges.
Margaret Arredondo, 29, of Dallas, pleaded guilty to possession of a machine gun and possession of a silencer, while Diana Joy McEwen, 28, of Rowlett, Texas, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a machine gun and one count of possession of a silencer.
District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Mildred Edwards sentenced Ms. Arredondo to concurrent 180-day sentences for the two misdemeanor counts, but ordered the sentences be suspended and that she serve one year’s unsupervised probation.
Ms. McEwen was sentenced to 90-day concurrent sentences for each count, to be suspended, and will serve one year’s probation, to be transferred to Texas.
The two women were among six Texans arrested on 41 misdemeandor weapons charges stemming from an April raid on the EconoLodge Motel, where police said they found arms including an M-16 grenade launcher, machine and handguns, and silencers.
Ms. Arredondo’s attorney, Duff Lewis, said she became involved with the group when she drove up to Washington from Texas to bring her brother, Ruben Anzaldua, who is one of the defendants in the case, his children.
Lewis said Ms. Arredondo was not allowed to leave once she caught up with the group, and that the alleged leaders of the group, Richard McEwen and his wife, Billie Joy McEwen of Rowlett, the adopted parents of Diana Joy McEwen, would not let her leave.
Diana McEwen’s attorney told the court that her client ″had been the victim of Mr. McEwen’s fetishes, sexual and otherwise.″