A firearms dealer from the Waterville area faces federal charges that say he illegally exported firearms to people in Romania and engaged in money laundering and smuggling.

Iulian Petre, 49, of Waterville, pleaded not guilty to similar charges last month and is scheduled for an arraignment Friday at U.S. District Court in Bangor on a newer indictment listing 17 charges.

Petre, who is also known as Julian Petre, has been free on an unsecured bond since his arrest April 12, 2017, on an initial complaint, and the case is scheduled for trial next month in Bangor.

His defense attorney is Jeremy Pratt. A phone message and an email sent to Pratt on Thursday morning were not returned and a phone number associated with an address listed for Petre’s business was not in service on Thursday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Ruge said he preferred to “let the indictment speak for itself” and not comment further.

The superseding indictment was handed up July 12 in federal court in Bangor.

According to various websites listing gunshops, Petre had a Title 1 dealer or gunsmith license at one point, and the address listed for the business is 263 North Pond Road, Winslow.

The newer indictment charges that in the period of August 2012 to August 2013, Petre illegally shipped, transported or received 10 firearms from eight states, illegally exported three firearms, promoted money laundering by wire transfers totaling $11,980 between the United States and Romania, and smuggled the three rifles also listed in the illegal export charges.

Other documents filed in the case say Petre shipped 16 firearms to Romania from September to November 2007 via the U.S. Postal Service and filed forms about that in the Waterville post office.

Those instances were not prosecuted, according to an April 10, 2017, affidavit by Loren Thresher, special agent with Homeland Security Investigations.

It also says Petre told investigators that he previously took “a gun to Romania in his luggage” and that agents told him that “he must suspend all firearms shipments until he obtained the proper authorizations from the Department of Commerce and Department of State.”

The same affidavit says that in December 2007, agents found three handguns bought from the Kittery Trading Post in Petre’s luggage when he checked in at Logan International Airport in Boston to fly to Germany. Petre told agents he was taking them to a friend in Romania and did not want to wait for those authorizations.

Thresher’s affidavit says ATF investigators checking on Petre’s firearms dealer license inspected his North Pond Road premises in June 2014 and found evidence Petre had transferred more firearms to Romania without proper permits.

The affidavit was sealed until Petre’s arrest.

The maximum prison term for money laundering is 20 years; the other offenses carry maximum prison terms of 10 years.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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