March 15, 2011
FORMER CAMERON COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPUTY SENTENCED FOR SMUGGLING
(BROWNSVILLE, Texas) – Former Cameron County Sheriff’s Deputy Jesus A. Longoria, has been sentenced to 57 months in prison for smuggling goods from the U.S., United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. United States District Judge Hilda G. Tagle sentenced Longoria, 31, of Brownsville, Texas, yesterday and ordered him to pay a $10,000 fine.
Longoria pleaded guilty to the federal felony charge on Dec. 17, 2010 - admitting that on May 5, 2010, while assigned to the Veterans’ and Gateway Ports of Entry to prevent stolen vehicles from leaving the United States, he attempted to send and export 13 semi-automatic firearms from the U.S. into Mexico.
According to the factual basis of the case, Longoria contacted the driver of a vehicle containing 13 semi-automatic weapons via cellular telephone to instruct him when he could cross into Mexico without inspection by state and federal authorities. Longoria did not know that the driver of the load vehicle was actually an undercover federal agent. When the load vehicle driven by the agent arrived at the bridge, Longoria - while standing at the federal inspection station - waived the vehicle through the inspection area and directed the vehicle to enter Mexico via the Veteran’s bridge. Longoria admitted he knew the vehicle contained firearms and the driver did not have a license or legal permission to export firearms. He believed the firearms were unlawful for export and were intended for use by a Mexican drug cartel. In return, Longoria accepted payment of $4,000.
The vehicle was intercepted before entering into Mexico and the weapons recovered.
Longoria was arrested on Nov. 1, 2010, and has remained in jail without bond.
This case was investigated by the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations and the Cameron County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney William Hagen prosecuted the case.
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