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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Arizona

Friday, September 6, 2019

First-Time Felon Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Attempting to Smuggle Assault-Style Rifles into Mexico

     TUCSON, Ariz. – Last week, Ricardo Alberto Ruiz Pelayo, 24, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Raner C. Collins to 30 months in prison followed by three years’ supervised release. Ruiz Pelayo previously pleaded guilty to an indictment charging one count of unlawful smuggling goods from the United States.

     On September 13, 2018, Ruiz Pelayo attempted to cross from Nogales, Arizona into Nogales, Sonora via the Mariposa port of entry.  An inspection of his vehicle located three AR-15 style assault rifles and two Glock handguns in addition to three magazine clips.  Although he was residing lawfully in the U.S. at the time, he will be deported to Mexico upon completion of his prison sentence.

     The investigation in this case was conducted by ICE/HSI Nogales agents and the prosecution was handled by Micah Schmit, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Tucson.


Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 
2019-103_Ruiz Pelayo/CR-18-2062-TUC-RCC
Updated September 6, 2019