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Press Release

Laredo man sentenced for attempting to export 20,000 rounds of ammo

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

LAREDO, Texas – A 48-year-old Laredoan has been ordered to federal prison for attempting to illegally export firearms and ammunition to Mexico, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery. 

Juan Antonio Cepeda pleaded guilty Jan. 4.

Today, U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana ordered Cepeda to serve a 41-month sentence to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. In handing down the sentence, Judge Saldana noted Cepeda had a lengthy criminal history and a long struggle with drug addiction.

On Sept. 14, 2020, Cepeda was traveling on Interstate Highway 35, when authorities conducted a traffic stop on his vehicle. Inside, they found 14 firearms and over 20,000 rounds of ammunition.

Cepeda admitted to knowingly attempting to export ammunition to Mexico for the promise of $2,000 payment.

Cepeda has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives jointly conducted the investigation with the Texas Department of Public Safety and Laredo Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Francisco J. Rodriguez prosecuted the case.

Updated March 25, 2021

Firearms Offenses