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Press Release

Weslaco resident pleads guilty to attempting to transport weapons and possession of child pornography

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

McALLEN, Texas – A 36-year-old Weslaco man has pleaded guilty to straw purchasing and possessing child pornography on his cellphone, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

From June 5, 2016, through May 9, 2022, Jose Angel Hinojosa Jr. engaged in firearms dealing by straw purchasing firearms from an online gun broker. He then arranged for the weapons to be exported into Mexico. Law enforcement was able to locate several weapons tied to Hinojosa.

As part of his plea, he admitted to attempting to smuggle more than 40 firearms.

During the firearms investigation, authorities also learned of possible crimes involving child pornography. They executed search warrants and found several videos on his phone showing minors engaging in sexual conduct. Hinojosa admitted to receiving child pornography on his cellphone from various third parties.

“Hinojosa not only illegally possessed dozens of firearms, with plans to send them to Mexico, he also possessed videos of children engaged in sexual conduct,” said Hamdani. “This case is an example of the multitude of crimes the Southern District’s prosecutors fight on a daily basis, and whether its transporting firearms or possessing child pornography, this office will seek to hold those like Hinojosa accountable.”

U.S. District Judge John D. Rainey accepted the plea and set sentencing for April 24. At that time, Hinojosa faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

Hinojosa was permitted to remain on bond pending sentencing.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation in conjunction with Homeland Security Investigations - Child Exploitation Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric D. Flores is prosecuting the case.

Updated January 19, 2024

Firearms Offenses