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Press Release

Weapons Smuggler Sentenced to Over Six Years and Fined More Than $10,000

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona

TUCSON, Ariz. – Last week, Ruben Arnulfo Chavarin, 31, of Tucson, Arizona, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John C. Hinderaker to 78 months in prison and fined $10,307.20. Chavarin previously pleaded guilty to smuggling firearms and ammunition from the United States into Mexico. 

On fourteen occasions between December 2010 and February 2011, Chavarin purchased eight firearms and over 21,000 rounds of ammunition in Tucson. He provided the firearms and 12,525 rounds of ammunition to co-conspirators to be smuggled out of the United States and into Mexico. On February 11, 2011, Chavarin attempted to personally smuggle 8,700 rounds of ammunition into Mexico, but was apprehended and arrested at the Port of Entry in Douglas, Arizona. Subsequent investigation revealed that shortly before his arrest, Chavarin had ordered sixteen AK-47 style rifles and 10,000 rounds of ammunition, which he also intended to smuggle into Mexico.

While under indictment for seven weapons trafficking offenses, Chavarin fled to Mexico, where he remained a fugitive for nine years until his arrest in 2020.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation in this case. Angela W. Woolridge, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Tucson handled the prosecution.

CASE NUMBER:            11-0922-001-TUC-JCH
RELEASE NUMBER:    2021-025_Chavarin

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Updated April 12, 2021

Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 2021-025_Chavarin