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Press Release

Firearms Straw Purchaser Sentenced to Federal Prison

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

A federal judge in San Antonio yesterday sentenced 40-year-old Clarence McFarland to 37 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for fraudulent purchases of .50 caliber rifles, announced U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Deputy Special Agent in Charge Craig Larrabee, San Antonio Division and Special Agent in Charge Fred Milanowski, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Houston Division. 

On October 1, 2020, the San Antonio resident pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to make a false statement during the purchase of a firearm.  According to court records, McFarland purchased and recruited others to purchase .50 caliber semi-automatic rifles from local firearms dealers in 2017 and 2018. McFarland provided the funds to purchase the rifles and paid others to fill out the Form 4473s purporting to be the actual buyers of those firearms. McFarland admitted to federal agents that he helped acquire eight .50 caliber rifles for another person.  In 2018 three rifles were recovered in Mexico that were traced back to McFarland and his straw purchasers.

“This sentence is yet another example of the commitment we have made with our partners to relentlessly pursue those who violate federal firearms laws in order to traffic dangerous weapons within our communities and across the border,” said U.S. Attorney Hoff.

“By putting weapons smugglers behind bars, it allows law enforcement to cut the supply of firearms before they fall into the hands of the drug cartels who pose a threat both here and abroad,” said HSI Deputy Special Agent in Charge Larrabee. “HSI will continue working with our federal law enforcement partners both domestic and international in this effort.”

“Stemming the flow of Illegally obtained guns that are then trafficked across the border and used in violent criminal activity remains at the core of the ATF mission,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Milanowski.

HSI and ATF investigated this case. 

This case is part of Operation Undaunted, a program which draws on the partnerships among federal, state and local law enforcement coupled with prosecution authorities to tackle violent crime and protect the communities of central and west Texas.



Media Relations
(210) 384-7257

Updated March 17, 2021

Firearms Offenses