Perez, the SWAT lieutenant, filed his lawsuit earlier this year, alleging that he has endured harassment and threats from other LAPD officers since drawing attention to the gun dealings. Through his attorney, Matthew McNicholas, Perez declined to be interviewed because of an order from police officials not to comment while the LAPD investigation continues.
McNicholas said that there is evidence that shows the LAPD had formal contracts with Kimber to buy a certain number of the custom SWAT and SIS guns but that the gun company sold more weapons directly to officers through informal "gentleman agreements." One or more SWAT officers collected money from others in the unit who wanted to purchase the guns and then contacted Kimber when they had gathered orders from about 20 officers, McNicholas said. In his lawsuit, Perez said an officer working in the Metropolitan Division's armory, James Quinlan, facilitated the sales between Kimber and the SWAT officers but did not provide details of Quinlan's role.
Quinlan, who is now retired, declined to comment, as did Capt. John Incontro, who commands the Metropolitan Division. A spokesperson for Kimber did not return repeated calls.
At times, a private company named Cinema Weaponry would also purchase guns, Perez said in the lawsuit. Cinema Weaponry is owned by Michael Papac, according to the state's business registry, and appears to rent weapons to film productions out of a small, run-down building in Glendale. Papac is not an LAPD officer and did not return calls seeking comment.