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Department of Justice

Office of Public Affairs
For Immediate Release
Friday, April 26, 2024

Kansas Man Indicted for Stealing 41 Firearms

Two Firearms Recovered in Mexico

A Kansas man was arrested yesterday while crossing the border from Mexico back into the United States after being indicted by a federal grand jury for stealing 41 firearms from a gun store in Raytown, Missouri.

A federal grand jury indictment was unsealed today charging Frank Guereca, 22, of Olathe, with one count of stealing firearms from a federal firearms licensee. Guereca made his initial court appearance in El Paso, Texas, today in the Western District of Texas.

“Today’s charges demonstrate the power of crime gun intelligence and cooperation with Mexican law enforcement to stem the flow of firearms from the United States into Mexico — where they arm the violent cartels that flood our communities with deadly drugs,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. “By submitting information about recovered firearms to ATF’s eTrace system, Mexican law enforcement helped us link the alleged theft of firearms in Missouri to their international transport and recovery in Mexico.”

“Unlawful firearms trafficking is not a victimless crime,” said Director Steven Dettelbach of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). “Guns trafficked to Mexico often end up in the hands of violent cartels that use them to hurt people and commit crimes. Here, ATF’s agents and National Tracing Center staff quickly used our eTrace system to generate critical leads. As today’s indictment shows, working jointly with our Mexican and domestic law enforcement partners, ATF can help stop traffickers. That way, we protect communities on both sides of the border.”

“We are committed to stanching the flow of illegal firearms on the black market, whether they’re trafficked within the United States or smuggled into Mexico,” said U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore for the Western District of Missouri. “Stolen firearms often supply black market dealers and fuel more crime and violence. It’s critical that we hold to account everyone involved along this chain of criminal activity.”

The federal indictment alleges that Guereca, aiding and abetting others, stole the firearms on June 16, 2023. All of the stolen firearms were pistols of various manufacturers and calibers.

According to court documents, Guereca and at least two others used a stolen U-Haul to conduct the firearms theft. One of the stolen pistols from the gun store was recovered in Tracy, California, on Nov. 14, 2023. A second stolen pistol was recovered in Chihuahua, Mexico, on Dec. 19, 2023. A third stolen pistol was recovered in Juarez, Mexico, on Feb. 6.

Guereca was arrested yesterday, as he attempted to cross back into the United States from Mexico. Guereca is scheduled for his initial court appearance today at 2:30 p.m. in El Paso, Texas (4:30 p.m. ET) before U.S Magistrate Judge Miguel Torres of  the Western District of Texas.  According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection records, Guereca had previously crossed the border approximately 20 times since the burglary and theft on June 16, 2023.

ATF and the Raytown Police Department investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley K. Kavanaugh for the Western District of Texas is prosecuting the case.

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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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