Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

DOJ seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Utah
Trina A. Higgins, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Monday, February 26, 2024

West Valley Man Sentenced to 27 Months’ Imprisonment After Admitting to Purchasing or Attempting To Purchase Multiple Rifles Intended for Mexico

SALT LAKE CITY — Jose Manuel Barbosa-Torres, 36, of West Valley City, Utah, was sentenced to over two years’ imprisonment and three years’ supervised release after he admitted to three counts of aiding and abetting false statements during the acquisition or the attempted acquisition of a firearm. Barbosa Torres is the first of four defendants sentenced after their arrest and indictment in October 2023.

According to court documents and statements made at the change of plea hearing, Jose Manuel Barbosa-Torres, 36, of West Valley City, provided funding for his co-defendants to purchase or attempt to purchase multiple Barrett .50 caliber rifles in August 2023, in the District of Utah. The purchases were from Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs). The defendants filled out an ATF Form 4473, where they indicated they were the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm and certified the submitted information was accurate, when it was false. Barbosa-Torres further admitted the firearms were acquired on behalf of another individual, who was transporting them to Mexico. 

“Barbosa-Torres purchased or facilitated the purchase of at least eight .50 BMG caliber rifles knowing they would be trafficked to Mexico. These weapons have the capacity to inflict massive destruction,” said U.S. Attorney Trina A. Higgins of the District of Utah. “Working with law enforcement, my office will continue to vigorously prosecute firearm trafficking that could lead to violence in our district or anywhere else.”

“ATF is on the frontline of the fight against organized international firearms trafficking," said ATF Special Agent in Charge Brent Beavers. "We are grateful for the collaboration between ATF and our industry partners which played a significant role in stopping the illegal flow of firearms into the hands of Sinaloa Cartel members in Mexico.”

Barbosa-Torres’ co-defendant Iliana Dennis is scheduled for sentencing on April 22 before a U.S. District Court Judge at the Orrin G. Hatch United States District Courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City. Co-defendants Armando Figueroa Jr. and Cecilio Luis Arriaga are pending trial.

The case was investigated by ATF.

Assistant U.S. Attorney, Victoria McFarland of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah prosecuted 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 of Justice 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 official website of the U.S. Department of Justice

Looking for U.S. government information and services?