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March 15, 2010


(McALLEN, Texas)  - Two men arrested and charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to receive or possess a machine gun not registered to them will remain in federal custody pending a detention hearing on Wednesday, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

Joel Santos, 23, of Mission, Texas and Gustavo Chavez-Delamora, 18, of Michiocan, Mexico, were arrested by special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives on Thursday, March 11 and charged the following day with conspiring to receive or possess a firearm which was not registered to them in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. On Friday, March 12, both defendants were ordered temporarily held in federal custody pending preliminary examination and detention hearings set for March 17, 2010 before United States Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos. 

According to allegations in the criminal complaint, earlier this month, Santos allegedly entered into negotiations with an undercover ATF agent to purchase 10 fully automatic machine guns.  On March 11, 2010, the undercover agent met with Santos in Mission, Texas. The complaint alleges Santos delivered approximately $12,000 in United States currency to the undercover agent in exchange for the 10 machine guns. Santos was taken into custody, according to the complaint, after taking delivering of the machine guns and attempting to leave the meet location. Chavez-Delamora, who was allegedly conducting counter surveillance for Santos during the meet, was taken into custody by ATF agents following Santos’ arrest.  The firearms were allegedly destined for Mexico. 

The Mission, Texas Police Department assisted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in this investigation.  Assistant U. S. Attorney Robert Wells is prosecuting the case.



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