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Press Release

Texas Chicano Brotherhood Gang Member Heads to Federal Prison

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

McALLEN, Texas – A 38-year-old Edinburg man has been ordered to prison following his conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan Patrick. Ismael Tovar-Zavala pleaded guilty Aug. 8,2018.  

Today, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez ordered him to federal prison for 100 months. The court noted his lengthy and violent criminal history in assessing the sentence.

On April 21, 2016, authorities stopped Tovar-Zavala for a traffic offense. Upon investigation, they determined he was in possession of a loaded 7.62x39 mm Yugoslavia assault rifle with a high capacity magazine attached. As a seven-time convicted felon, he is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition per federal law. He was further determined to be a Texas Chicano Brotherhood gang member.

Tovar-Zavala claimed he had the assault rifle for his “protection.” 

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

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation with the assistance of Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. Lindenmuth prosecuted the case.

Updated August 20, 2018

Firearms Offenses