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Press Release

Mexican resident sent to prison for trafficking firearms under new law

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

LAREDO, Texas – A 25-year-old U.S. citizen residing in Mexico has been ordered to prison for trafficking handguns into Mexico under the Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Said Isaac Hernandez admitted to one count of trafficking firearms Sept. 29, 2022, and is the first person believed to be convicted under the new law.

The Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act is part of the broader Safer Communities Act, passed June 25, 2022.

Today, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez imposed an 80-month term of imprisonment for Hernandez. In handing down the prison term, Judge Alvarez noted that although Hernandez had no criminal history, the number  firearms  he was trafficking to Mexico was disturbing, and the guns were likely ending up in the wrong hands.  

“Hundreds of firearms likely ended up in the hands of Mexican cartel members thanks to Hernandez’s firearms trafficking, only worsening the ongoing gun violence terrorizing the citizens of Mexico and the United States,” said Hamdani. “He worked with a contact in Mexico who instructed him on the type and number of firearms to purchase. Hernandez’s actions exemplify why laws such as the Trafficking in Firearms Act are so important.”

“This was a textbook case of trafficking firearms to Mexico,” said Special Agent in Charge Fred Milanowski of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). “Firearms trafficking is illegal and immoral. Unfortunately, the consequences of a firearm illegally possessed in the United States and Mexico can cause danger and harm for decades. As demonstrated by this case, we will continue to investigate and prosecute gun traffickers who endanger the lives of law-abiding citizens in our communities.”

On July 11, 2022, authorities apprehended Hernandez while he was traveling south on U.S. Interstate 35 towards the port of entry in Laredo. At the time of his arrest, they discovered 17 firearms hidden in his car.

Hernandez had been the subject of an investigation related to the purchasing of a large number of firearms and transporting them to Mexico. Between Jan. 21, 2020, and July 11, 2022, Hernandez purchased a total of 231 handguns in calibers of 9mm, .380 and .22. 

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

The ATF conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Makens is prosecuting the case.

Updated February 10, 2023

Topic
Firearms Offenses