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Houston Field Division - 2012 Releases

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Anahuac Man Sentenced in Murder-For-Hire Plot

December 17, 2012

BEAUMONT, Texas – A 49 year-old Anahuac, Texas man has been sentenced to federal prison for his murder-for-hire scheme in the Eastern District of Texas, announced United States Attorney John M. Bales today. More »

Beaumont Resident Sentenced to 30 Years for Federal Crimes Related to Seven Area Robberies

December 13, 2012

BEAUMONT, Texas — A 37–year–old Beaumont, Texas man has been sentenced to prison for federal crimes in connection with a robbery spree targeting local businesses in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today. More »

Edinburg Man Sent to Prison for Receiving Weapons with Intent to Assault

December 12, 2012

McALLEN, Texas – David Villanueva, 21, will be serving an nearly nine years in prison following his conviction for receiving firearms with the intent to commit a felony, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Melvin King Jr., special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Villanueva pleaded guilty Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012. More »

Felon in Possession Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison

December 4, 2012

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Mack Lopez Hinojosa, 26, of Corpus Christi, has been handed a 15-year sentence for his conviction of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Melvin King Jr., special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Hinojosa entered a plea of guilty on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. More »

Sentencing of FFL Burglars

November 28, 2012

In the early morning hours of December 14, 2009, Shooter’s Station, a gun store, located on SH 105 just west of Conroe was burglarized and 81 firearms were stolen. More »

ATF and Fire Marshals Conclude Scene Investigation at Lake Jackson Bowling Center

November 27, 2012

LAKE JACKSON, TX – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Melvin King, Jr. representing Houston ATF and the members of the National Response Team of ATF along with the City of Lake Jackson Fire Marshal Randy Crim are announcing the conclusion of the scene investigation at the Bowl Texas Bowling Center fire that occurred on Nov. 18. All agencies are in agreement that the cause of the fire was accidental. The agents and investigators determined that the fire started in the water heater closet due to spontaneous combustion of oily rags left in a trash can next to other combustible materials. More »

ATF National Response Team Activated to Investigate Lake Jackson Bowling Center Fire

November 20, 2012

LAKE JACKSON, TX — Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) National Response Team (NRT) along with ATF Special Agents from the Houston Field Division were activated today at the request of the Lake Jackson Fire Marshal’s Office to investigate a fire at the Bowl Texas Bowling Center, 125 FM 2004 Road, Lake Jackson, Texas 77566. More »

Local Gang Members Sent to Federal Prison

November 15, 2012

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Benito Rodriguez, 36, Andy Soliz, 25, and Adrian Fernandez, 21, all of Corpus Christi, have been sentenced to federal prison without parole following their convictions for firearms violations, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. All three men entered pleas of guilty Sept. 4, 2012, to one count of being a felon in possession of firearms. More »

34 Alleged Aryan Brotherhood of Texas Gang Members Indicted on Federal Racketeering Charges

November 9, 2012

WASHINGTON – Thirty-four alleged members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas gang (ABT), including four of its most senior leaders, have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Houston for allegedly conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department‘s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson of the Southern District of Texas, Special Agent in Charge Melvin D. King of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Houston Division and FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen L. Morris of the Houston Field Office. More »

Chambers County Woman Gets 15 Years for Conspiracy Involving Bomb Making and Weapons Possession

November 5, 2012

HOUSTON – Pamela Leggett, 32, of Anhuac, has been handed a 15-year prison sentence following her conviction of conspiracy to illegally make and possess unregistered firearms, including bombs, and to aiding and abetting illegal possession of an unlawful machine gun, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent-in-Charge Melvin King Jr. Leggett pleaded guilty March 30, 2012. More »

Convicted Felon Indicted for Unlawful Possession of Sawed-Off Shotgun During Alleged Wal-Mart Robbery

October 30, 2012

McALLEN, Texas – Aaron Solorzano, 25, of Donna, has been charged by a federal grand jury today with one count of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and another count of unlawfully possessing a sawed-off shotgun, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. More »

Several Huntsville Residents Arrested and Charged in Drug Conspiracy

October 11, 2012

HOUSTON – Two separate indictments have been returned resulting in the arrests of 11 Huntsville area residents on charges of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana and illegal possession of weapons, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. More »

Illegal Alien Sentenced To Prison For Firearms And An Illegal Silencer

October 10, 2012

MCALLEN, Texas – Humberto Lopez-Cuevas, 27, a Mexican national illegally in the United States, has been handed a federal prison sentence for being a prohibited person in possession of firearms and silencers, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Lopez-Cuevas pleaded guilty June 1, 2012. More »

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Houston Federal Jury Convicts Five in Attempted Cocaine Robbery

October 1, 2012

HOUSTON – Four Colombian nationals and one Panamanian have been convicted in federal court on drug conspiracy and firearms charges, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. More »

Edinburg Man Convicted of Receiving Glocks with Intent to Assault

September 26, 2012

McAllen, Texas – David Villanueva, 20, has entered a plea of guilty to receiving firearms with the intent to commit a felony, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Melvin King Jr., special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. More »

Felon in Possession Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison

September 25, 2012

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Antonio Maldonado, 28, of Corpus Christi, has been handed a 15-year sentence for his conviction of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Melvin King Jr., special agent in charge of the ATF.More »

Roma Women Sentenced for Involvement in a Straw Purchases Ring

September 18, 2012

MCALLEN, Texas – Two family members involved in making false statements on ATF forms 4473 in the acquisition of firearms from federal firearms licensees (FFL) will now be serving federal prison terms, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.More »

Detention Center Employees Convicted on Federal Firearms Charges

September 10, 2012

LAREDO, Texas – Seven Laredo residents have pleaded guilty to making false statements in connection with firearms purchases from local gun stores, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Melvin King Jr., special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.More »

More Arrests in Local Gun Store Indictment

September 4, 2012

LAREDO, Texas – The last four persons named in last week's indictment of a local gun store owner and his wife have been taken into custody by federal authorities, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Jerry Robinette, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in San Antonio and Melvin King Jr., special agent in charge of the ATF.More »

21-Year-Old Houston Woman Sentenced for Straw Purchasing Firearms

September 4, 2012

McALLEN, Texas – Nayely Ruby Herrera, 21, of Houston, has been handed a 36-month-term of federal imprisonment for making a false statement concerning the purchase of firearms on ATF Form 4473, commonly referred to as straw purchasing, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.More »

Aryan Brotherhood of Texas Member Sentenced for Jefferson County Shooting

August 23, 2012

BEAUMONT, Texas – A member of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) was sentenced for his role in the 2009 shooting of a man in Jefferson County, Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales of the Eastern District of Texas.More »

Orange County Man Sentenced for Federal Firearms Violation

August 21, 2012

BEAUMONT, Texas – A 27-year-old Orange, Texas, man has been sentenced to federal prison for federal firearms violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.More »

Local Gun Store Owner and Wife Arrested for Numerous Alleged Firearms Violations

August 20, 2012

Laredo, Texas – Robert Jacaman Sr. and his wife, Veronica Jacaman, have been arrested following the return of an 11-count federal indictment alleging a variety of violations associated with the selling of firearms and ammunition, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.More »

Convicted Felon Sentenced for Possessing a Firearm

August 13, 2012

McALLEN, Texas – Alexis Nazareth Mendez, 22, of Edinburg, Texas, has been sentenced to prison for illegal possession of a firearm, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.More »

Naser Jason Abdo Sentenced to Life in Federal Prison in Connection with Killeen, Texas Bomb Plot

August 10, 2012

Naser Jason Abdo, age 22, will spend the rest of his life in federal prison for plotting to kill American soldiers and others near Fort Hood, Texas, announced Assistant Attorney General for National Security Lisa Monaco, United States Attorney Robert Pitman, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Armando Fernandez and Killeen Police Chief Dennis M. Baldwin.More »

Three Indicted in Austin for Conspiracy to Possess Machine Guns

August 8, 2012

Three San Antonio residents face multiple federal firearms charges in connection with an attempt to purchase machine guns announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman.More »

ATF Offers $5,000 Reward for Garden Ridge Fire

August 8, 2012

HOUSTON – ATF Houston Field Division Special Agent in Charge Melvin D. King, Jr. today announced a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for starting a fire inside of the Garden Ridge Home Décor Store located at 16788 I-45, Conroe, Texas.More »

Federal Jury Convicts Port Arthur Man for Role in Kidnapping and Carjacking Scheme

August 3, 2012

BEAUMONT, Texas – A 33-year-old Port Arthur, Texas man has been convicted in a carjacking case as a result of Operation Time Machine in the Eastern District of Texas announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.More »

Three Arrested for Alleged Unlawful Manufacturing of Firearms

August 1, 2012

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Two men and one woman have been charged with aiding, abetting and assisting one another in dealing and manufacturing firearms without a federal license, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.More »

Leader of Straw Purchasing Cell Gets 10 Years in Federal Prison

July 26, 2012

MCALLEN, Texas – The leader of a straw purchasing cell and another defendant have just been handed significant sentences for their respective roles in the recruiting of others to make false statements on ATF forms 4473 in the acquisition of firearms from FFL, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.More »

New Leader for ATF Houston Field Division

July 23, 2012

Houston – Melvin D. King, Jr. has reported to Houston as the new Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Houston Field Division which encompasses all of Southern Texas. Mr. King brings 27 years of law enforcement experience to Houston.More »

Father and Son Sentenced for Straw Purchasing

July 25, 2012

MCALLEN, Texas – A father and son involved in making false statements on ATF forms 4473 in the acquisition of firearms from federal firearms licensees (FFL) will now be serving prison terms, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.More »

San Antonio Firearms Straw Purchasing/Trafficking Ringleader Sentenced to Federal Prison

July 24, 2012

United States Attorney Robert Pitman, Special Agent in Charge Melvin D. King, Jr., Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Houston Division and Special Agent in Charge Jerry Robinette, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations in San Antonio announced that in Del Rio, 27-year-old Marino Castro, Jr. of San Antonio, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release in connection with a firearms straw purchasing and trafficking scheme.More »

Former Sheriff’s Deputies and Convicted Felons Indicted in Relation to Drug Conspiracy, Firearm Possession

June 19, 2012

McALLEN, Texas — Two former deputy sheriffs from Duval County, Texas, have been indicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.More »

Jury Convicts Houston Woman for Straw Purchasing Firearms

June 7, 2012

McALLEN, Texas — Nayely Ruby Herrera, 21, of Houston, has been convicted of making a false statement concerning the purchase of firearms on Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Form 4473, commonly referred to as straw purchasing, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. The jury returned its verdict after two hours of trial and approximately 30 minutes of deliberation in McAllen, Texas.More »

Several Houstonians Arrested in Firearms and Drug Investigation

June 7, 2012

HOUSTON — A total of five people from Houston are now in custody following the return of a 15–count federal indictment, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. The partially unsealed indictment, alleges conspiracy, making false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms, smuggling goods from the United States, conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.More »

Raza Unida Gang Member Gets Life in Meth Trafficking Conspiracy

May 24, 2012

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Orlando Garcia, 33, of Corpus Christi, Texas, has been sentenced to life in federal prison following his conviction of drug trafficking in a conspiracy that involved gang leadership both inside and outside of the Texas prison system, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Garcia was convicted in February by a federal jury and is the final defendant to be found guilty in a seven–count indictment that involved 13 other defendants.More »

Jury Convicts Naser Jason Abdo on All Counts in Connection with Killeen Bomb Plot

May 24, 2012

A jury this afternoon in Waco, convicted 22–year–old Naser Jason Abdo on federal charges in connection with a July bomb plot in Killeen, Texas. That announcement was made by United States Attorney Robert Pitman and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Armando Fernandez.More »

Peñitas Man Handed Sentence for Trafficking Firearms, Ammunition and Military Vests

May 24, 2012

McALLEN, Texas — Juan Ricardo Puente–Paez, a legal permanent resident alien residing in Peñitas, Texas, has been sentenced to 95 months in federal prison for the trafficking of firearms, ammunition and military vests as a result of an investigation that began in May 2010, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Puente–Paez, 34, pleaded guilty Feb. 29, 2012, to the attempted exportation of military spec body armor vests before United States District Judge Micaela Alvarez.More »

Federal Agents Arrest Two Eagle Pass Brothers Charged with Ammunition Smuggling

April 10, 2012

United States Attorney Robert Pitman, ICE–HSI Special Agent in Charge Jerry Robinette and ATF Acting Special Agent in Charge Gary Orchowski announced the arrests today of Eagle Pass, Texas, residents Richard Hesles, Jr., age 32 and his brother, Damien Hesles, age 22, in connection with a scheme to smuggle over 6,000 rounds of ammunition and hundreds of firearm magazines into the Republic of Mexico.More »

Progresso Felon Sentenced to Federal Prison For Possessing a Firearm

April 10, 2012

McALLEN, Texas – Sergio Hernandez Jr., 21, of Progresso, Texas, has been sentenced to 110 months in federal prison for illegally possessing a revolver, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. As a previously-convicted felon, Hernandez was banned under federal law from possessing any firearm that had crossed state lines. U.S. District Judge Randy Crane further ordered he serve three years on supervised release following completion of his prison term.More »

Chambers County Woman Convicted of Conspiracy Involving Destructive Devices

March 30, 2012

HOUSTON – Pamela Leggett, 31, of Anhuac, Texas, has entered a plea of guilty to conspiracy to illegally receive, make and possess unregistered firearms and destructive devices and to aiding and abetting illegal possession of an unlawful machine gun, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) acting Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Orchowski.More »

Aryan Brotherhood of Texas Member Sentenced for Role in 2009 Jefferson County Shooting

March 27, 2012

BEAUMONT, Texas — A member of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) was sentenced today his role in the 2009 shooting of a man in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales and Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.More »

Aryan Brotherhood of Texas Gang Member Convicted in Houston of Racketeering Charges

March 21, 2012

WASHINGTON – Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) gang member David Harlow was found guilty today by Senior U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. in Houston of racketeering aggravated assault and conspiracy to commit racketeering aggravated assault for his role in the 2008 beating of a gang prospect.More »

Three Men Sentenced for Roles in a Straw Purchasing Ring

March 19, 2012

McALLEN, Texas – Three men have been sentenced to varying terms of federal prison for their roles in lying on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) forms 4473, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.More »

ATF’s National Response Team Activated to Investigate Channelview Flea Market Fire

March 19, 2012

CHANNELVIEW, TX — Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) National Response Team (NRT) along with ATF Special Agents from the Houston Field Division have been activated by a request from the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office to investigate a fire at the White Elephant Flea Market located at 15660 East Freeway (I–10), Channelview, Texas. The fire occurred early Friday, March 16. The team of two dozen agents and specialists arrived late today and will start the scene investigation in the morning. The local ATF Arson Task Force and investigators from the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office are already on the scene.More »

HPL Felon Gets 24+ Years

March 15, 2012

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Previously convicted felon Richard Angel Gonzales, 39, of Corpus Christi, Texas, has been handed a 293-month prison term, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.More »

Raza Unida Gang Leader Gets 30 Years for Racketeering

March 8, 2012

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Raza Unida Gang Leader Karlos Bouchot, 35, of Corpus Christi, Texas, has been was sentenced to 360 months in federal prison, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.More »

Kidnapper Gets Max For Illegal Possession of a Firearm

March 8, 2012

LAREDO, Texas – Gerardo Banda Jr., a 26-year-old Laredo resident, has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for illegally possessing two handguns that he used to threaten and kidnap another person, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Senior United States District Judge George Kazen handed Banda the maximum sentence for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and further ordered he serve a three-year-term of supervised release after completing his sentence.More »

Leader of Weapon Smuggling Organization Sent to Federal Prison

March 8, 2012

VICTORIA, Texas — Saul Salinas Salazar, 26, of Pasadena, Texas, has been sentenced to 84 months in prison for conspiracy to smuggle firearms into Mexico and for making false statements with regards to purchasing firearms, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.More »

10 Sentenced for Involvement in Straw Purchase and Export Ring

March 1, 2012

McALLEN, Texas – Ten people have been sentenced today for their roles in making false statement on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) forms 4473 in the acquisition of firearms from federal firearms licensees (FFL) and exporting those firearms to Mexico, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.More »

Four of Five Convicted for Roles in Attempted Armored Car Robbery Land in Federal Prison

February 9, 2012

HOUSTON — Four Houston residents have been sentenced to prison for the attempted robbery of an armored car, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.More »

San Antonio Men Sentenced in Firearms Straw Purchasing/Trafficking Investigation

February 8, 2012

United States Attorney Robert Pitman, Special Agent in Charge Gary Orchowski, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Houston Division and Special Agent in Charge Jerry Robinette, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement–Homeland Security Investigations in San Antonio announced that two San Antonio men–23–year–old Keith Edwards and 22–year–old Ricky Gonzales–have been sentenced to 87 and 42 months in federal prison, respectively, for their roles in a firearms straw purchasing and trafficking investigation.More »

Baytown Man Gets More Federal Prison Time for Exportation of Firearms

January 30, 2012

HOUSTON — Manuel Gomez Barba, of Baytown, Texas, has been sentenced to 100 months for exportation of firearms, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) acting Special Agent in Charge Gary Orchowski and Immigration and Customs Enforcement — Homeland Security Investigations (ICE–HSI) Special Agent in Charge Robert Rutt.More »

ATF, Crime-Stoppers and Local Law Enforcement Offer Reward for Information on Gun Store Burglaries

January 26, 2012

HOUSTON – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Crime Stoppers of Houston and local law enforcement agencies announce today a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons responsible for eight burglaries at Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) in the Houston area. More »

Port Arthur Man Sentenced for Armed Robbery Spree

January 26, 2012

BEAUMONT, Texas — A 31–year–old Port Arthur, Texas man has been sentenced to federal prison for his role in a crime spree targeting area businesses in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.More »

Pharr Man Sentenced to Prison for Lying to Buy Almost Two Dozen Firearms Destined for Mexico

January 25, 2012

McALLEN, Texas – Lying to buy almost two dozen firearms destined for Mexico has netted a Pharr, Texas, man a prison term, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.More »

Laredo Man Gets 10 Years for Illegal Possession

January 12, 2012

LAREDO, Texas – Ruben Ibarra, 37, of Laredo, Texas, has been sentenced to 120 months in federal prison today for illegally possessing a firearm, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Laredo Police Department Chief Carlos R. Maldonado. The conviction and sentence stems from an altercation at the Coyote Creek Bar and Grill restaurant during the early morning hours of Feb. 28, 2011, involving Ibarra and Fernando Perez, 28, also of Laredo.More »

Guilty Verdict in Corpus Christi Convicted Felon Case

January 10, 2012

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Richard Angel Gonzales, 39, of Corpus Christi, Texas, has been convicted on all three federal charges against him, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.More »