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Press Release

Son Of Former Cartel Boss Convicted Of Attempting To Export Ammunition Into Mexico

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

BROWNSVILLE, Texas - Osiel Cardenas Jr., 23, of Brownsville, has entered a plea of guilty to attempting to export ammunition into Mexico, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Cardenas is the son of former head of the Gulf Cartel – Osiel Cardenas-Guillen – who was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in federal prison and ordered to pay a money judgment of $50 million. 

On Dec. 31, 2014, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers were conducting south-bound inspection operations at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Port of Entry in Brownsville. Cardenas Jr. approached the inspection area driving a 2015 Cadillac Escalade and attempted to exit the U.S. and enter Matamoros, Mexico. He advised officers that he had no money, weapons or ammunition to declare. However, a subsequent search of the vehicle led to the discovery of 489 rounds of 9mm, .223mm and 7.62mm ammunition as well as two .223 rifle magazines.

Cardenas Jr. admitted that the ammunition seized from his vehicle belonged to him and that he had concealed it in order to avoid inspection because he knew that it was illegal to export them into Mexico. He stated that he did not have and had not ever applied for a U.S. Department of State license to export firearms or ammunition. He also admitted he had seen the signs posted near the Port of Entry stating it was against the law to take ammunition into Mexico.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen accepted the plea today and has set sentencing for May 18, 2015, at which time Cardenas Jr. faces a up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine. He will remain in custody pending that hearing.
The charges are the result of an investigation by CBP and Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Angel Castro and Jody Young are prosecuting the case. 

Updated April 30, 2015