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Three Sentenced to federal prison for straw purchasing firearms destined for mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2013

In San Antonio, three individuals were sentenced to lengthy federal prison terms in connection with a scheme to traffic and straw purchase AK-47 assault–type firearms destined for Mexico stated United States Attorney Robert Pitman, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Melvin D. King and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Vincent Iglio.

This morning, United States District Judge Orlando Garcia sentenced the ringleader, 28–year-old Mexican National Jimmy Torres, to 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty in November to one count of possession of a firearm by an individual with a domestic violence conviction, one count of possession of a firearm by an illegal alien and 31 counts of aiding and abetting the making of a false statement during the purchase of a firearm.  Judge Garcia also sentenced Torres’ co-defendants--30–year-old Ramon Ernesto Armijo of San Antonio and 27-year-old Mathew Arteaga of San Antonio and--to 60 months and 50 months in federal prison, respectively, after pleading guilty to multiple counts of making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm.  During today’s hearing, Judge Garcia also sentenced 25-year-old Juanita Arteaga and 39–year-old Virginia Ricarte-Jones each to two years probation after they pleaded guilty last September to making false statements during the purchase of a firearm.

By pleading guilty, the defendants admitted to participating in a scheme from November 2011 to January 2012 whereby approximately 40 AK-47 assault-type firearms were straw-purchased from several San Antonio area gun stores.  Court documents reveal that the straw-purchased firearms were destined for Mexico.

Prior to today, 13 other individuals have received sentences ranging from probation to five years in federal prison in connection with this scheme. 

This case was investigated by agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) together with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).  Assistant United States Attorney Bettina J. Richardson is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

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