FBI, ATF arrest of Florida man for unregistered short-barrel rifle showcases absurdity of NFA

By all accounts, Yunis Isaac Mejia was a good guy – certainly not the type of man who should be spending his next two birthdays behind the wire in a federal prison.

Mejia, a former police dispatcher, had never been arrested in his life until he unknowingly invited an FBI informant to shoot steel plates on his five-acre property near St. Cloud, Florida.

Several years before his arrest, Mejia, 28, worked as a 911 dispatcher for the Bonham, Texas Police Department.

“He always showed up on time, had a good personality and always got along well with others,” Bonham Chief of Police Mike Bankston said Tuesday.

Chief Bankston said Mejia and two coworkers were officially commended for their work during a 911 outage.

“He and two other dispatchers went the extra mile for an attaboy,” Chief Bankston said. “When 911 went down, one even went to the Sheriff’s Office and helped them. Yunnis (Mejia) was a good guy with a good personality. He got along well with others and never had any complaints.”

Mejia was also a licensed pilot.

He dreamt of someday becoming a commercial airline pilot. But that dream ended when an informant, whom the FBI calls a “Confidential Human Source” or CHS, came over to his house.

Terrorism Task Force

Erika D. Shaw is a Special Agent for the FBI. She is responsible for Mejia’s case, his arrest and, ultimately, for his prosecution.

“I am currently assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force (the “JTTF”) of FBI’s Tampa Division, Orlando Resident Agency,” Shaw wrote in Mejia’s complaint. “In this capacity I investigate, among other things, criminal cases relating to international and domestic terrorism.”

In her complaint, Shaw never says why she targeted Mejia, or why the informant was sent to his home.

The informant, or CHS, wasn’t paid for setting up Mejia. Instead, they were cooperating with the FBI to avoid prosecution by ICE.

“The CHS is a reliable source who has, for less than one year, provided accurate and reliable information that has been corroborated by the FBI,” Shaw wrote in the complaint. “Prior to becoming a CHS, the CHS was arrested in or about June 2020 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for a charge of Nonimmigrant Student Out of Status: Failure to Attend and was briefly detained.”

The Setup

According to the complaint, on Oct. 29, 2020, the informant first went to Mejia’s home, which Shaw described as a 4.91-acre property with outbuildings including a large metal garage and two pole buildings.

Mejia invited the informant via a text message. The two had been texting for three months.

“The meeting was recorded by a concealed audio device provided to the CHS by law enforcement prior to the scheduled meeting,” Shaw’s complaint states.

Mejia showed the informant three guns including a CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1, which had a suppressor and shoulder stock attached.