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Nov. 10, 2009

LYING TO BUY FIREARMS LANDS TWO IN PRISON

(McALLEN, Texas) – Two Mission residents have been sentenced to prison for lying to buy firearms, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.

At a sentencing hearing today, United States District Judge Randy Crane sentenced Roel Cavazos, 43, and Rogelio Cavazos, 71, both of Mission, Texas, to 48 and 37 months, respectively, in federal prison without parole to be followed by a three-year-term of supervised release. Both men previously pleaded guilty to making false statements in connection with the purchase of firearms. 

Roel and Rogelio Cavazos were arrested and charged following an investigation conducted by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The investigation established that during the course of multiple transactions from February 2007 through February 2008, Roel Cavazos falsely stated he was the actual purchaser of 72 firearms, several of which were subsequently recovered in Mexico; while Rogelio Cavazos falsely stated he was the purchaser of 18 firearms. 

The charges against the Cavazos is based in part on transactions that occurred in December 2007 when Roel and Rogelio Cavazos met with a cooperating Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) and sought to obtain from the FFL the names and identifies of others to purchase eight firearms. The FFL refused. Later, Roel and Rogelio Cavazos met the FFL at his place of business and provided the name and identities of eight different individuals, one for the purchase of each firearm. During that meeting, Roel and Rogelio Cavazos admitted they were trafficking the firearms to Mexico and were deriving profit from the same. Subsequent investigation revealed these eight people whose names they used to purchase the firearms were uninvolved and had no knowledge that their identities were being used to purchase these firearms. 
           
Roel Cavazos has been in custody since the time of his arrest and will remain in custody to serve his sentence. Rogelio Cavazos has been permitted to remain on bond until Dec. 7, 2009, when he has been ordered to surrender himself to the United States Marshals Service to begin serving his sentence.

The investigation was conducted by the ATF with the assistance of the Texas Department of Public Safety and the United States Secret Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Steven Schammel.

 

 

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