For Immediate Release
Firearms Smuggler Pleads Guilty
LAREDO, Texas – A 27-year-old Laredoan has entered a guilty plea for his role in recruiting and leading a firearms smuggling ring, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.
Between March 2016 and November 2016, Juan Diego Madrid recruited several individuals, including two of his brothers, to purchase civilian variants of firearms currently issued to military forces from various local firearms dealers. Madrid then conspired to smuggle the firearms into Mexico.
The straw purchasers Madrid recruited bought at least 36 AR-15 and AK-47-type semiautomatic rifles, Beretta 92FS and DPMS AR-type rifles from Academy and Kirkpatrick Guns & Ammo stores in Laredo and San Antonio. Madrid would purchase the firearms from the straw purchasers and then re-sell them at a profit to a co-conspirator who would then arrange for the firearms to be smuggled into Mexico. Madrid, already a convicted felon, is prohibited from purchasing, owning or possessing firearms.
Madrid will be sentenced before United States District Court Judge Diana Saldana at a date to be determined in the near future. He was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Homero Ramirez and Special AUSA Lisa Ezra are prosecuting the case.