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June 7, 2012

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Jury Convicts Houston Woman for Straw Purchasing Firearms

McALLEN, Texas – Nayely Ruby Herrera, 21, of Houston, has been convicted of making a false statement concerning the purchase of firearms on Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Form 4473, commonly referred to as straw purchasing, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. The jury returned its verdict after two hours of trial and approximately 30 minutes of deliberation in McAllen, Texas.

During trial before U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez, the government presented evidence that Herrera had purchased three AK-47 type firearms on Feb. 23, 2011, four AK-47 type firearms on April 14, 2011, four AK-47 type firearms on April 15, 2011, and another four AK-47 type firearms on April 23, 2011. According to the information presented in court, all of the firearms were purchased from Erick Ford Kruger, a federally licensed firearms dealer and owner of The Armory in McAllen.

The case began when the four rifles were discovered being taken into Mexico by another person. Testimony demonstrated that Herrera was subsequently interviewed and admitted that over a period two months she had made false statements during the purchase of all of the firearms. In total, she purchased 15 AK-47 type rifles from The Armory. She also admitted in a handwritten statement that she had purchased the firearms for other individuals, that they provided her with money to purchase the firearms and that she was personally compensated to do so.

Judge Micaela Alvarez has set sentencing for Aug. 16, 2012, at which time she faces up to five years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine. Previously released on bond, Herrera was taken into custody after the jury returned its verdicts where she will remain pending sentencing.

The investigation was conducted by the ATF. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Steven T. Schammel.