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Ex-Travel Agent Convicted of Gun Charges

July 10, 1996

A federal court jury Tuesday convicted former Glendale travel agent Garen Zakarian of two firearms counts, but remained deadlocked on four other charges stemming from the 1994 killing and robbery of another travel agent.

Zakarian was convicted of possessing a gun and a silencer with obliterated serial numbers, and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison on each charge.

U.S. District Judge Steven Wilson ordered the jury, which had been deliberating for three days, to resume discussions today on the remaining counts: robbery, conspiracy and interstate commerce violations.

Federal prosecutors accused Zakarian, 31, of killing Benita Mikailian, owner of the Travel Town agency in Glendale, on Oct. 5, 1994, in order to steal $42,000 worth of airline tickets that he needed to avoid stranding 80 clients in Paris and to keep afloat his struggling business, Econo Trans of Glendale.

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