4 charged for illegally purchasing firearms
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas
HOUSTON – Two women and two men residing in Houston are set to appear in federal court for making false statements during the acquisition of firearms, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
A federal grand jury returned the 29-count superseding indictment today. All were previously charged July 3. They are expected to appear again in federal court today at 10 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Bray.
Maribel Santana-Cerdo, 42, Ariceli Santana, 44, Carlos Joel Hernandez, 24, and Johnny Talavera, 26, all of Houston, allegedly straw purchased 71 firearms.
“Straw purchasing” occurs when someone professes to be purchasing a firearm for themselves, when in actuality, they provide it to someone else, usually not legally able to do it themselves.
If convicted, each of the violations carries a punishment of up to 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 maximum possible fine.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Schammel is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.
Updated October 30, 2019