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Jan. 17, 2012

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Two San Juan Residents Get Federal Prison Time for Straw Purchasing Firearms

MCALLEN, Texas – Taisa Garcia, 21, and Marco Antonio Villalobos, 20, both of San Juan, Texas, have been sentenced to federal prison for their roles in straw purchasing firearms, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

Today, Chief United States District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa sentenced to Garcia and Villalobos to 33 and 46 months of imprisonment, respectively, each to be followed by a two-year-term of supervised release. They both pleaded guilty June 5, 2011, to making a false statement in the acquisition of a firearm from a federally licensed firearms dealer, commonly referred to as straw purchasing, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 924(a)(1)(A).

According to court documents, Villalobos offered to pay Garcia to find straw purchasers. In February 2010, Garcia then asked a cooperating source to purchase two firearms in exchange for payment. That person met with Garcia and Villalobos, was provided U.S. currency and directed to purchase two firearms from a federally licensed firearms dealer. The source then delivered the firearms to a location in San Juan, Texas, and to Garcia. 

Previously released on bond, both Garcia was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined on the near future Marco Antonio Villalobos was remanded to custody following the hearing today pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Steven Schammel.