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Friday, June 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Cleared Gun Dealer Sues Arizona AG

PHOENIX (CN) - A Phoenix gun dealer claims the Arizona Attorney General defamed and wrongfully prosecuted him - unsuccessfully - on bogus allegations that he was "a major firearms trafficker for the Mexican drug cartels." George Iknadosian, owner of X-Caliber Guns, was acquitted of 21 counts, including forgery, fraud, and assisting a criminal syndicate.

Iknadosian claims he was acquitted after it became clear that witnesses made false statements to receive "favorable plea agreements."

A judge dismissed the criminal case against Iknadosian in 2009 and ordered all of his seized property to be returned, according to the complaint in Maricopa County Court.

Iknadosian claims that Judge Robert Gottsfield found that there was no material evidence that any of Iknadosian's weapons ended up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

Iknadosian had been accused of selling sold semi-automatic weapons to straw buyers - customers with clean records who were purchasing weapons for the cartels.

Iknadosian claims that Phoenix police officer Aimee Smith conspired with an agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to "wrongfully and maliciously prosecute" him.

Iknadosian claims that Smith and other officers searched his house and business and seized more than $2 million in personal property and business inventory and filed racketeering liens on all his properties.

He faced up to 200 years in prison if convicted of all charges. Iknadosian says the officers ruined his business, his reputation and his health: "Mr. Iknadosian has been financially ruined; his good name and reputation have been slandered and defamed; his credit rating has been ruined; his business relationships with distributors, including lines of credit, have been destroyed; his business's good will and commercial value have been destroyed; his real properties have depreciated in value due to vacancy and/or inability to pay the monthly mortgage and inability to properly maintain and/or keep up the properties. The combined total of all items wrongfully seized, retained and converted is in excess of $2,000,000."

Iknadosian says he "suffered mental and emotional distress" after he was arrested and jailed, and forced to wear an "uncomfortable and degrading" ankle bracelet for 10 months after his release.

He seeks damages for malicious prosecution, conversion and defamation.

The defendants are Officer Smith, Attorney General Terry Goddard, the State of Arizona and the City of Phoenix.

Iknadosian is represented by Thomas M. Baker.

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