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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

News Release

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Contact: Chris Mears

Two Las Cruces Men Arrested/Charged With Stealing Guns From Federal Firearms Licensees

El PASO — Please see the below information from the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas regarding charges related to a string of local FFL burglaries. For their release see:

Federal and local authorities have arrested two Las Cruces, NM, residents charged with allegedly stealing guns from multiple federal firearms licensees, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey C. Boshek II, Dallas Field Office.

A federal criminal complaint filed in El Paso alleges that Ruben Orona, age 37, and Victor Medina, age 32, are responsible for a string of  gun store burglaries—one in Las Cruces and two in El Paso—and stole 32 firearms.  The burglaries included: Las Cruces Guns on July 30, 2020; Drakes Fine Sporting Arms in El Paso on August 11, 2020; and, Sportsman’s Elite in El Paso on August 16, 2020.  The complaint further states that one of the stolen firearms, a .45 pistol which was later recovered by law enforcement, was used in a drive-by shooting in Doña Ana County on August 24, 2020.

Upon conviction, the defendants face up to ten years in federal prison. 

“This case is a perfect example of the great collaboration ATF maintains with our law enforcement and industry partners to help keep our communities safe” said ATF Dallas Special Agent in Charge Boshek.

ATF, together with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), El Paso Police Department, Las Cruces Police Department, Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshals Service, are conducting this ongoing investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Mallory Rasmussen is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

It is important to note that a criminal complaint is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.   The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

ATF is the lead federal law enforcement agency with jurisdiction involving firearms and violent crimes, and regulates the firearm industry. More information about ATF and its programs is available at


Dallas Field Division