For Immediate Release
U.S. Citizen Living in Tijuana Pleads Guilty to Fentanyl Charge that He Traded Drugs for Machine Guns, Grenades and Grenade Launchers
LOS ANGELES – A U.S citizen residing in Tijuana, Mexico, pleaded guilty Friday to a federal narcotics charge stemming from a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigation where he traded fentanyl for machine guns, grenade launchers and purported grenades.
Pedro Roberto Hernandez-Gomez, 32, pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.
On Jan. 7, 2020, Hernandez-Gomez came to Los Angeles where he provided approximately 1 kilogram of heroin and approximately 1 kilogram of fentanyl in exchange for three Bushmaster 5.56 mm machine guns, three 40 mm grenade launchers, and 72 inert grenades (which he believed were live explosives).
Hernandez-Gomez, a convicted felon who is not allowed to possess firearms, was arrested after loading the firearms into his van. According to an affidavit filed with a criminal complaint in this case, he admitted he planned to transport the guns and explosives back to Tijuana, Mexico.
U.S. District Judge André Birotte Jr., scheduled a June 11 sentencing hearing, at which time Hernandez-Gomez will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
This was an ATF-led investigation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley Fillmore of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
ATF recognizes the role firearms play in violent crimes and pursues an integrated regulatory and enforcement strategy. Investigative priorities focus on armed violent offenders and career criminals, narcotics traffickers, narco-terrorists, violent gangs, and domestic and international arms traffickers. For more information on ATF’s Los Angeles Field Division follow us on Twitter at @LosAngelesATF or go to Los Angeles Field Division.