For Immediate Release
Firearms Smugglers Sentenced
LAREDO, Texas – Five Laredoans have been ordered to prison following their convictions for their roles in smuggling firearms into Mexico, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.
Juan Diego Madrid, 27, Rolando Armando Madrid, 21, Erik Villasana, 20, Edward Alexander Duenas, 20, and Francisco Xavier Martinez, 25, participated in a scheme to purchase civilian variants of firearms currently issued to military forces from various local firearms dealers. Between March 2016 and November 2016, Juan Madrid recruited several individuals including Rolando Madrid, Duenas and Martinez, to purchase the firearms. The firearms were then transferred to Villasana, who arranged for the firearms to be smuggled into Mexico.
Today, U.S. District Judge Diana Saldaña sentenced Juan Diego Madrid to a term of 65 months in federal prison, while his brother - Rolando Madrid, Villasana, Duenas and Martinez received respective sentences of 51, 63, 27 and 41 months in prison.
The straw purchasers bought 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. Juan Madrid would then purchase the firearms from the straw purchasers and then re-sell them at a profit to Villasana who would then arrange for the firearms to be smuggled into Mexico. Juan Madrid was already a convicted felon and thereby prohibited from purchasing, owning or possessing firearms.
Juan Madrid also recruited his other brother – Ruben Arnoldo Madrid, 21, in the scheme. He will be sentenced at a later date.
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.