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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Western District of Texas

For Immediate Release

April 10, 2012

Robert Pitman, United States Attorney

Contact: Daryl Fields, Public Information Officer
(210) 384-7440

Federal Agents Arrest Two Eagle Pass Brothers Charged with Ammunition Smuggling

United States Attorney Robert Pitman, ICEHSI Special Agent in Charge Jerry Robinette and ATF Acting Special Agent in Charge Gary Orchowski announced the arrests today of Eagle Pass, Texas, residents Richard Hesles, Jr., age 32 and his brother, Damien Hesles, age 22, in connection with a scheme to smuggle over 6,000 rounds of ammunition and hundreds of firearm magazines into the Republic of Mexico.

A federal grand jury indictment–returned on April 4, 2012 and unsealed today–charges Richard with seven counts of smuggling ammunition from the United States, two counts of smuggling firearm magazines; and, one count of smuggling firearms sights. The indictment also charges Damien with three counts of smuggling ammunition, one count of smuggling magazines and one count of smuggling firearm sights.

The indictment alleges that between March 15, 2010, and February 17, 2012, the defendants aided and abetted the exportation or attempted exportation of: over 6,000 rounds of ammunition designed for use in various firearms, including AK–47 and AR–15 assault rifles as well as .50 caliber sniper rifles; over 300 assault rifle magazines and 63 magazines for other types of firearms; and, firearm sights.

The indictment also seeks a monetary judgement against the defendants in the amount of approximately $100,000 representing property allegedly used to carry out their illegal scheme.

The defendants are scheduled to have their initial appearance tomorrow morning at 9:00 in Del Rio before United States Magistrate Judge Victor Roberto Garcia.
Upon conviction, each defendant faces a maximum of ten years imprisonment per count.

The case is being investigated by agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations together with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Galdo and Benjamin Seal are prosecuting the case on behalf of the Government.

It is important to note that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.