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August 21, 2009


(McALLEN, Texas) - Mireya Rivera Juarez, 44, of Roma, Texas, was sentenced to 37 months in federal custody without parole for lying and buying a total of 25 firearms, two of which were recovered in Mexico, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.

Juarez, convicted of making a false statement in the purchase of a firearm, after pleading guilty on May 29, 2009, was sentenced late yesterday by United States District Court Judge Randy Crane. The prison term is to be followed by a three-year-term of supervised release.  

The charges against Rivera are the result of an investigation conducted by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,Firearms and Explosives (ATF) which proved that between August 2007 through September 2008 Rivera bought 25 firearms for $30,000 including 13 AR-15s and three AK-47s for a person identified only as “El Mano” and lied on the federal firearms form claiming herself to be the owner. To make the purchases, Rivera drove “El Mano’s” truck to a gun store, made a purchase then returned the truck leaving the firearm inside. Rivera stopped purchasing firearms for “El Mano” due to increased law enforcement activity. She was paid a total of approximately $5,000 for the purchases.  

In deciding upon the sentence he ultimately imposed, the court considered the type of firearms, the number of firearms, the manner of purchase and the general knowledge of cartel violence in finding that Rivera knew or had reason to believe these weapons were destined for the drug war in Mexico. Two of the weapons purchased by Rivera were later recovered by Mexican law enforcement authorities in the possession of cartel members in Acapulco. With the assistance of the ATF, the firearms were traced back to Rivera.

Rivera was remanded to federal custody.

The investigation was conducted by ATF. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Steven Schammel.



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