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May 13, 2011


(McALLEN, Texas) –  A U.S. citizen who conspired with others to export semi-automatic firearms and ammunition into Mexico has been sentenced to prison, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa today sentenced Juan Sauceda, 29, a resident of Reynosa, Mexico, to 40 months in federal prison without parole for conspiring to unlawfully export weapons from the United States to Mexico. Sauceda pleaded guilty to the federal felony offense on Feb. 8, 2011, admitting to having agreed with others to export into Mexico approximately 10 semi-automatic firearms, 87 firearms magazines and 1,570 rounds of ammunition without the necessary license or authorization.

Sauceda was arrested on Nov. 23, 2010, after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers conducting southbound inspections at the Hidalgo, Texas, port of entry found and seized 10 semi-automatic firearms (including several .223-caliber Sig Sauer 556 semi-automatic rifles), 87 high-capacity firearms magazines and 1,570 rounds of 7.62x39mm ammunition concealed in the vehicle Sauceda was driving. Further investigation by special agents of Homeland Security Investigations assisted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives led to the filing of federal charges and ultimately Sauceda’s conviction.

Sauceda has been in federal custody without bond since his November 2010 arrest and will remain in custody pending transfer to a Bureau of Prisons facility where he will serve out his sentence. Upon completion of his prison term, the court has further ordered Sauceda to serve a two-year-term of supervised release. As a convicted felon, Sauceda will be prohibited by law from possessing firearms or ammunition.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Sully prosecuted the case.

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