A 39-year-old Brazilian attorney, who until recently was employed by the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, was held without bail at the Baltimore City jail last night following his arrest on charges of smuggling guns to Brazil.

Jose J. M. Rabello was arrested Tuesday night at the Bethesda home of a friend after U.S. Customs and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents searched containers of household belongings that Rabello was shipping to his wife in Brazil and found nine guns, ammunition and parts of other guns.

Rabello, who had quit his job with the bank last Aug. 31, was charged with violating the law that forbids illegal aliens to possess firearms, with attempting to ship firearms without notifying the common carrier, and with exporting firearms without a license from the State Department.

Rabello's immigration work permit, which he held for four years, automatically expired when he quit his job, this making him technically an illegal alien. He phoned to join his family in Rio de Janeiro on Friday; according to testimony at Rabello's bail hearing yesterday.

Customs agents said records at Washington area gun stores show that Rabello bought at least 85 handguns, rifles and shotguns during the last few month. In September, Rabello told Marshall Rosen, owner of Shooter's World in Rockville, that he had bought more than 400 firearms in the last 10 months and had shipped must of them to Brazil, according to an affadavit filed in court by a U.S. Customs Service agent.