Alien Sentenced for Possessing Firearms He Intended to Take to Mexico
|Feb. 26, 2014|
McALLEN, Texas – Manuel Francisco Gomez-Perales, a Mexican national who returned to the United States illegally to recover firearms previously acquired for another person knowing those firearms were destined for Mexico, has been sentenced to prison, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
Chief United States District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa sentenced Gomez-Perales, 31, of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, to 114 months of imprisonment. On Sept. 7, 2011, Gomez pleaded guilty to being an alien, illegally and unlawfully present in the United States, in possession of firearms.
Gomez had been removed from the United States on Aug. 9, 2010, but had returned illegally four days later. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents were able to locate Gomez and began to follow his vehicle. Once he noticed the agents, Gomez attempted to flee. Ultimately, he crashed his vehicle into a utility pole, then fled on foot, abandoning his common law spouse and child, before being apprehended by law enforcement.
Inside the vehicle, law enforcement located four AKM type rifles with obliterated serial numbers.
Gomez admitted he had acquired the firearms with the intent to ship them to other persons and that the firearms were destined for Mexico. Gomez further admitted he was deported before he could transfer the firearms; therefore, he had returned to the United States to complete the transfer as originally planned.
Gomez has been in custody since his arrest where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The investigation was conducted by HSI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Pharr Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Steven Schammel. AUSA Jason C. Honeycutt handled the sentencing today.