Two Oregon Men Indicted Federally for Firearms Trafficking to Mexico
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Oregon
EUGENE, Ore. – The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that a federal grand jury has indicted two men for their involvement in a scheme to illegally purchase and sell firearms and smuggle them to Mexico. Those men are Erik Flores Eloretgui, 33 years old, of Beaverton, Oregon and Robert Allen Cummins, 56 years old, of Eugene, Oregon. Defendant Cummins appeared today on a summons before Magistrate Judge Thomas M. Coffin, who ordered Cummins to return to court on October 5, 2015, for a hearing on release conditions and detention status.
The indictment is the result of a year-long investigation and international collaboration that began after a large shipment of firearms was found in Sonora, Mexico. According to the indictment, members of the conspiracy deposited tens of thousands of dollars near the U.S./Mexico border to bank accounts associated with Erik Flores Elortegui. Defendants then allegedly straw-purchased over $70,000 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.
The indictment further alleges that on the same day as a $38,100 firearms purchase in Oregon City involving three .50 caliber rifles, Erik Flores Eloretegui purchased a Dremel grinding tool – commonly used by firearms traffickers to grind off firearms’ serial numbers – and a few days thereafter drove from Oregon and crossed into Mexicali, Mexico.
In announcing the indictment, Acting U. S. Attorney Billy J. Williams said, “Those who illegally deal and smuggle firearms share responsibility for the violence those firearms promote. This case serves to put firearms traffickers, and anyone who illegally buys or sells firearms, on notice that they will be held accountable for violating laws designed to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and to assure the safety of citizens both here and abroad.”
Summary of the Charges
• Count 1: conspiracy to smuggle firearms from the United States to Mexico and making false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.
• Counts 2 through 13: making false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms – each of those charges carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.
• Counts 14 through 25: illegal smuggling of goods from the United States – each of those charges carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.
• Count 26: unlawful dealing in firearms, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.
An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant should be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan J. Lichvarcik.
Updated February 4, 2016