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Press Release

Valley man sent to prison for lying on federal firearms form

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

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A 40-year-old Harlingen resident has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of lying on a firearm application at a local Wal-Mart, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick along with Special Agent in Charge Fred Milanowski of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). A Brownsville jury deliberated for 30 minutes before convicting Juan Sauceda following a one-day trial June 18, 2019.

Today, U.S. District Judge Rolando Olvera handed Sauceda an 18-month sentence to be immediately followed by two years of supervised release. At the hearing, the defense argued for probation as there was “no harm, no foul.” The court denied that request and imposed the federal prison term.

On Sept. 6, 2018, Sauceda attempted to purchase a 12-gauge pump shotgun at a Wal-Mart in Harlingen. As a part of the purchase, he was required to fill out ATF Form 4473 in order to complete a background check. He signed the form, attesting that he never had a felony conviction. However, the investigation revealed he had a conviction for two counts of assault and battery with a deadly weapon. Sauceda had stabbed two individuals in 2013 in a dispute in Custer County, Oklahoma.

The defense attempted to convince the jury Sauceda was too uneducated to understand the form when he made the false statement as to his criminal history. The jury was not persuaded and found him guilty as charged. 

Sauceda was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

ATF conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Schorr Dinsdale and Israel Cano III prosecuted the case.

Updated October 16, 2019

Firearms Offenses