Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Southern District of Mississippi

For Immediate Release

May 14, 2012

Gregory K. Davis, United States Attorney

Contact: Sheila Wilbanks
(601) 965-4480

North Carolina Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Smuggle Firearms

Gulfport, Miss. – Jose Luis Santos-Garcia, 44, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, pled guilty in federal court today to conspiring to smuggle munitions to Mexico, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis and Raymond R. Parmer, Jr. Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New Orleans.

Santos–Garcia, a legal permanent resident of the United States and citizen of Mexico, was stopped on I-10 westbound in Jackson County, August 31, 2011, with 2 concealed handguns and 3 flak jackets. On November 1, 2011, his co-conspirator, Javier Molina, a U.S. citizen, was stopped westbound on I-10 in Jackson County, with 8 pistols, 9 rifles, 5 shotguns, 16 magazines, 6 gun stocks, 5 shotgun barrels, 2 scopes and 902 rounds of ammunition.

By breaking the export laws of the United States, this defendant and his co-conspirator could have endangered the lives of countless people once these weapons reached the black market in Mexico, said ICE HSI Special Agent in Charge Raymond R. Parmer Jr., This case is a direct result of HSI, the Jackson County Criminal Interdiction Team, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) working together to promote public safety not only here in the United States, but also in foreign lands. Parmer oversees HSI activities for the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee.

Both defendants will be sentenced on August 2, 2012, and face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, HSI, the Jackson County Criminal Interdiction Team, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Annette Williams.