For Immediate Release
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
, United States Attorney
Contact: Angela Dodge
Weapons Smuggler Sent to Prison
Houston Field Division
McALLEN, Texas – A 52-year-old Mexican citizen has been ordered to federal prison for attempting to smuggle firearm parts kits, components, receivers and magazines to Mexico, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. Alejandro Cavazos, 52, pleaded guilty Feb. 3, 2017.
Today, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane sentenced Cavazos to 48 months in federal prison. Not a U.S. citizen, Cavazos is expected to face deportation proceedings following his release from prison. At the hearing, the court heard that Cavazos had taken possession of approximately 248 parcels of firearm parts from different Internet-based vendors since June 2014.
The investigation began when authorities identified Cavazos as having purchased more than $100,000 worth of firearms parts and accessories from Internet-based dealers. The purchases included AR-15 parts kits and unfinished AR-15 lower receivers.
The investigation revealed Cavazos would coordinate the delivery of the firearm parts to a local reshipment company where Cavazos would then retrieve the merchandise and smuggle it into Mexico. In October 2016, federal agents observed Cavazos retrieve 13 parcels from a local reshipment company and place the items in his vehicle. The parcels, destined for Mexico, were subsequently seized and found to contain 100 AR-type charging handles, 30 AR-15 lower receivers, 25 AR-15 7.62 x 39 mm magazines, 18 AR-15 assembly kits and 200 detachable AR-15 carry handles.
Cavazos will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rolando Cantu prosecuted the case.