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Jan. 7, 2009

NUEVO LAREDO MEN’S CLUB MANAGER INDICTED FOR ATTEMPTING TO SMUGGLE AMMUNITION INTO MEXICO

(LAREDO, Texas) – Raul Alvarez, 29, a U.S. citizen and the business manager of a men’s club in Colonia Mirador, Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, has been indicted for attempting to smuggle hundreds of rounds of ammunition from the U.S. into Mexico and for making a false statement to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer, acting United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. Alvarez was arrested on Dec. 11, 2008, after a random CBP outbound inspection at an international bridge in Laredo resulted in the discovery of 282 rounds of ammunition, three pistol magazines and eight assault rifle magazines in a compartment in the rear passenger quarter panel of the vehicle Alvarez was driving. The ammunition and the vehicle, a 2000 Ford Expedition, have also been seized.

Following further investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a federal criminal complaint accusing Alvarez of willfully attempting to export ammunition from the U.S into Mexico in violation of federal law was filed on Monday, Dec. 15, 2008. Alvarez appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Diana Saldana the same day and was ordered released upon posting a $100,000 cash or surety bond. After being informed of his right to a preliminary examination hearing, Alvarez formally waived that hearing in open court. 

The charge of knowingly and willfully exporting ammunition from the United States to a place outside the country in violation of federal law carries a maximum punishment of 10 years imprisonment. The charge of making a false statement carries a maximum punishment of five years imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system and both offenses also carry a potential $250,000 fine.

The charges are the result of the seizures made by CBP and an investigation being conducted by Department of Homeland Security - Border Enforcement Security Force Task Force led by ICE. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Diana Song.

Indictments are formal accusations of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.

 

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