Tuesday, May 24, 2022
May 24, 2022

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Vancouver man accused of illegally buying guns, claiming to be citizen

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

A Vancouver man was arrested Friday, accused of falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen and illegally buying guns, despite previous criminal convictions.

Joao Ricardo DeBorba, 46, is facing eight counts of illegal possession of a firearm, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He is being held in the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac.

DeBorba entered the U.S. from Brazil in 1999 on a tourist visa, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release. Investigators say he overstayed his visa and created fake documents to work in the country and to buy firearms.

In April 2019, DeBorba allegedly claimed he was a U.S. citizen on documents while buying guns in Portland, Lacey and Lebanon, Ore. He was arrested shortly after for drunken driving, and police found he had a Glock pistol, the news release states.

Investigators said he continued to buy more guns, including a rifle in Gresham, Ore., and a revolver in Vancouver and falsely claimed to be a citizen.

In November 2019, DeBorba was arrested for domestic violence assault and was required to surrender all of his firearms, according to the news release. He was arrested again, that same month, for violating the no-contact order in that case, and police seized 20 firearms from his house.

DeBorba was arrested again in January for domestic violence assault, and, again, was informed he could no longer possess firearms, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Officers searched DeBorba’s house last week and seized five firearms: three AR-15-style rifles with no serial numbers or manufacturer’s marks and two handguns, one also without those identifiers, the news release states. Investigators said the weapons appeared to have been assembled with parts ordered online, otherwise known as “ghost guns.” Law enforcement also found a large amount of ammunition, a workbench with firearms parts and tools, silencers, magazines, and multiple gun cases.

The case is being investigated by the FBI, with assistance from the Vancouver Police Department, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms & Explosives and the Social Security Office of Inspector General.

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