Mexican Couple Handed Federal Sentences for Transporting Huge Stash of Ammunition
|Aug. 9, 2012|
LAREDO, Texas – Abraham Garcia-Perguero, 38, and his common-law wife Maria Isabel Rodriguez-Olivio, 36, both undocumented Mexican aliens living in Laredo, Texas, have been sentenced to federal prison following their convictions of possessing 27,000 rounds of ammunition, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Both pleaded guilty May 14, 2012.
Today, additional evidence was presented including the defendants’ uncontested prior admissions that they knew that the ammunition’s ultimate destination was Mexico. U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo, who accepted the guilty pleas, considered the evidence and sentenced Garcia-Perguero and Rodriguez-Olivio to 33 and 27 months, respectively. In handing down the sentence, Judge Marmolejo noted that although the defendants, as in drug transportation cases, may consider themselves as cogs within the larger machinery of the enterprise, “but without cogs like you people don’t get killed.”
The evidence established that on March 14, 2012, Laredo Police Department (LPD) patrol officers stopped a 2001 Dodge Ram pick-up truck driven by Garcia-Peguero for a failing to stop at a stop-sign. Rodriguez-Olivio and their minor daughter were passengers and officers observed several boxes of ammunition inside. A total of 27 boxes were identified in the bed of the pick-up truck containing a total of 27,000 rounds of .223 caliber ammunition. Officers also found a box of 50 rounds of .40 caliber ammunition and an unloaded extended magazine for a .40 Glock pistol in the cab of the truck.
Garcia-Perguero and Rodriguez-Olivio admitted they had just picked up the ammunition and Glock magazine from a local gun store in Laredo and were taking it to someone who was waiting for them near the Exotica’s Gentleman’s Club. They expected to be paid between $400 and $500 for picking up and delivering the ammunition.
Both have been in custody since their arrest where they will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a nationwide commitment to reduce gun and gang crime in America by networking existing local programs that target gun and gun crime and providing these programs with additional tools necessary to be successful. Since its inception in 2001, approximately $2 billion has been committed to this initiative. This funding is being used to hire new federal and state prosecutors, support investigators, provide training, distribute gun lock safety kits, deter juvenile gun crime and develop and promote community outreach efforts as well as to support other gun and gang violence reduction strategies.
The matter was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with the assistance of the Laredo Police Department. Several police officers have been cross-designated as ATF Task Force Officers working directly with the federal agency, assisting in the investigation of this and other crimes. Assistant United States Attorney Homero Ramirez prosecuted the case.