LOS ANGELES -- A Los Angeles police officer surrendered to authorities Monday after he was indicted on charged that he attempted to illegally export guns and ammunition to a security firm in Belize.

50 year old Johnny Augustus Baltazar is charged with one count of unlawful interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition.

Prosecutors say Baltazar attempted to illegally ship a container packed with 10 guns and 1,500 rounds of ammunition to Belize from the Los Angeles International Airport. The weapons included eight .40 caliber handguns and two 9 mm handguns.

Baltazar owns Elite Security, the company in Belize where the weapons were to be shipped.

Investigators believe the weapons were intended for use by officers employed by the security firm. Baltazar did not have the required licenses to export the firearms, officials said.

His indictment follows a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"As a law enforcement officer, this defendant should know full well why there are strict controls on the export of dangerous firearms," said Miguel Unzueta, special agent in charge for the ICE Office of Investigations in Los Angeles. "These laws are designed to ensure that potentially lethal weapons don't fall into the wrong hands -- that threat is the reason cases like this are an ICE priority."

"In cases like these we find ourselves disappointed in the actions of an officer that lead to an indictment on criminal charges," said Los Angeles Police Chief Michael Downing. "In this specific case, the department has initiated an internal investigation which, unlike the criminal case, is substantially restricted from public disclosure."

During a short interview outside the courtroom, Baltazar's attorney Arthur Avazian said his client is facing a felony prosecution for what he called a "technical violation" of the law.

He said Baltazar will plead not guilty when he's arraigned November 16.

Baltazar was placed on administrative leave by the LAPD last year. He is awaiting a department administrative discipline hearing.

The maximum penalty for the violation charged in the indictment is five years in prison