You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Eugene Man Sentenced to 40 Months in Prison for International Firearms Trafficking

EUGENE, Ore. – On February 14, 2017, Robert Allen Cummins, 57, from Eugene, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken to 40 months in prison for his involvement in a scheme to illegally purchase and sell firearms that were immediately smuggled to Mexico. After completing his prison sentence, Cummins will be on supervised release for three years and will be prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition.

 

This criminal case is the result of a year-long investigation and international collaboration that began after a large shipment of firearms was intercepted by law enforcement in Sonora, Mexico. According to court documents and statements made in court, members of the conspiracy deposited tens of thousands of dollars near the U.S.-Mexico border into bank accounts associated with Erik Flores Elortegui. Cummins and Flores then straw-purchased thousands of dollars’ worth of high-caliber firearms, including .50 caliber and AK-47-type rifles, some of which were recovered in Mexico soon after being purchased.

 

On one day alone, Cummins walked into a Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer (FFL) in Oregon and paid $38,100 in cash for fourteen firearms, including three .50 caliber rifles.

 

Assorted military style firearms

Image 1: Firearms purchased by Mr. Cummins from a Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer in Oregon

 

Less than thirty days later, the Mexican Military seized many of those same firearms, including two of the .50 caliber rifles, from a tractor trailer in San Luis Rio de Colorado, Sonora, Mexico. The firearms, many of which were missing serial numbers, along with more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition, magazines, and firearms accessories, were saran-wrapped and hidden among bales of alfalfa being transported on the tractor trailer.

 

Assorted military style rifles and collection of handguns

Image 2: Firearms Seized by Mexican Law Enforcement Officials

Hay bales inside a cargo trailer

Image 3: Smuggled Firearms Were Found Hidden Among Bales of Alfalfa on a Tractor Trailer

Making false statements during a firearms purchase and straw purchasing firearms are serious offenses that increase the likelihood of weapons reaching the hands of violent criminals,” said Billy J. Williams, United States Attorney for the District of Oregon. “Those who seek to buy or sell firearms illegally in Oregon or elsewhere will be held accountable for their actions.”

 

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and was prosecuted by Nathan J. Lichvarcik, Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Oregon.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated February 14, 2017