For Immediate Release
Alleged Drug Trafficker Attempts to Purchase Machine Guns, Grenades & Grenade Launchers Destined for Mexico
U.S. Citizen Now Residing in Tijuana Arrested
LOS ANGELES – A grand jury this week charged a U.S citizen residing in Tijuana, Mexico, with multiple firearm-, drug- and explosives-related charges for allegedly trading heroin and fentanyl for machineguns, grenade launchers, and purported grenades.
Pedro Roberto Hernandez-Gomez, 31, was charged with possession of machine guns, attempt to transport explosives, being a felon in possession of firearms, distribution of heroin, and distribution of fentanyl.
In December 2019, Hernandez-Gomez agreed to provide heroin and fentanyl in exchange for various machine guns, grenade launchers, grenades, and handguns during what Hernandez-Gomez believed was negotiations with firearms traffickers but was in fact a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) sting operation.
On Jan. 7, 2020, Hernandez-Gomez came to Los Angeles where he provided 1 kilogram of heroin and 1 kilogram of fentanyl and renegotiated the amount of firearms and grenades in exchange for the heroin, according to a federal affidavit. Hernandez-Gomez agreed to exchanging the narcotics for three Bushmaster 5.56 mm machine guns, three 40 mm grenade launchers, and 72 inert grenades (which he thought were live explosives).
Hernandez-Gomez, a convicted felon who is not allowed to possess firearms, was arrested shortly after loading the firearms into his van. According to the affidavit he admitted he planned to transport the guns and explosives back to Tijuana, Mexico.
“This is a prime example of the type of violent criminal ATF targets along with the partnership of the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said ATF Los Angeles Field Division Special Agent in Charge Carlos A. Canino. “It is clear these machine guns and grenade launchers were destined for criminal groups in Mexico. ATF works diligently to stop firearm trafficking schemes so guns do not end up in in the hands of criminals, gangs or cartels, and we will continue to do so.”
This was an ATF investigation. This case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin B. Reidy is the prosecutor.