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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Arizona
Gary M. Restaino, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Thursday, February 15, 2024

Firearms Purchaser Sentenced to 21 Months for Lying to Acquire a Firearm

TUCSON, Ariz. — Javier Alejandro Ramos-Velderrain, 23, of Tucson, was sentenced last week by United States District Judge Scott H. Rash to 21 months in prison. On October 23, 2023, a jury convicted Ramos-Velderrain of Making a False Statement During the Purchase of a Firearm.

On November 4, 2020, U. S. Customs and Border Protection officers stopped Luis Manuel Bray-Vasquez as he attempted to enter the Republic of Mexico at the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales in an SUV. When told to turn off the engine, Bray-Vasquez, a U.S. Consulate employee, put the car in drive and attempted to flee into Mexico. Port officials were able to close the gates and stop the vehicle from escaping into Mexico and Bray-Vasquez was arrested. A search of the SUV revealed 15 firearms, including a Barrett BMG .50 caliber rifle, broken down and hidden in a blue bag. Bray-Vasquez was subsequently prosecuted and sentenced on August 24, 2021, by United States District Judge Jennifer G. Zipps, to 46 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to smuggling goods from the United States (CR-21-00655-TUC-JGZ).

Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) began an investigation into the source of the 15 firearms and traced the 12 firearms that had serial numbers. Based on the tracing, ATF discovered that Javier Alejandro Ramos-Velderrain purchased the Barrett BMG .50 caliber firearm from 2A Ballistic Solutions, a federal firearms licensee (FFL), just 22 days prior to it being intercepted at the border. When he purchased the Barrett rifle, Ramos-Velderrain filled out and certified under penalty of perjury the ATF Form 4473, the Firearms Transaction Record, which records the identifying information of the buyer when purchasing a firearm from an FFL. At the time, Ramos-Velderrain knowingly listed a false address as his residence. This delayed the investigation, as agents were unable to locate Ramos-Velderrain. When agents found him, Ramos-Velderrain stated that he sold the firearm for $7,000 to a person who responded to an internet sale advertisement. He was unable to provide any information as to whom and when he allegedly sold the firearm. The Barrett BMG .50 caliber rifle is one of the most highly powered firearms that can be purchased outside of the military as it has massive destructive power. 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Homeland Security Investigations, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection conducted the investigation in this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Serra M. Tsethlikai and Evan N. Wesley, District of Arizona, Tucson, handled the prosecution. Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela W. Woolridge, District of Arizona, Tucson, handled the prosecution of Luis Manuel Bray-Vasquez.


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