Son of gun trafficker sentenced for role in exporting firearms to Mexico
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas
HOUSTON – The 18th member of a trafficking cell responsible for sending hundreds of firearms to transnational criminal organizations in Mexico has been ordered to federal prison for his role in the scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Guillermo Gomez-Lazcano, 26, a Mexican national who illegally resided in Houston, pleaded guilty April 6 to being an alien in possession of a firearm, possessing a machine gun and participating in a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance.
Today, U.S. Circuit Judge Gregg Costa ordered Gomez-Lazcano to serve a total of 200 months in federal prison. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face removal proceedings following his imprisonment. In handing down the sentence, the court noted how many dangerous weapons were being sent to very dangerous people in Mexico that ultimately destroyed many families.
Gomez-Lazcano is the son of Gustavo Gomez-Valenzuela, the leader of the gun trafficking organization that was unlawfully exporting firearms to Mexico. Gomez-Valenzuela had pleaded guilty to eight counts related to the scheme, admitting to providing funds to purchase hundreds of firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition, smuggling both firearms and ammunition to Mexico, possessing firearms and selling kilogram quantities of meth.
Co-conspirators purchased firearms from Khalid Abdulaziz, the owner and manager of Zeroed In Armory to send to Gomez-Valenzuela. While acting in the capacity of a federal firearms licensee in Houston, Abdulaziz sold the majority of the firearms to others in the cell. Several have also pleaded guilty, admitted to making false statements in the purchase of firearms.
As a result of the scheme, they purchased approximately 500 firearms which were ultimately trafficked to transnational criminal organizations in Mexico. To date, authorities have recovered over 60 firearms in Mexico, the majority of which were being used in acts of violence.
Gomez-Lazcano will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Abdulaziz, 34, Manvel, and Gomez-Valenzuela, 49 and illegally residing in Houston, were sentenced to 10 and 30 years in prison, respectively. Other prison sentences have ranged from 18 months to more than 10 years.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Stabe and Lisa M. Collins prosecuted the case.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation with the assistance of Homeland Security Investigations, IRS – Criminal Investigation, Houston Police Department and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found on the Department of Justice’s OCDETF webpage.
Updated August 19, 2022