San Antonio Man Sentenced for Straw Purchase Scheme
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Texas
SAN ANTONIO – Charles Anthony Lecara, aka “Eric,” “Bloodhound,” 43, of San Antonio was sentenced today to 87 months in prison for aiding and abetting false statements in connection with firearm purchases.
According to court documents, between March and June 2018, Lecara conspired with others to purchase firearms by making false statements and representations to firearm dealers. The co-conspirators acted as straw purchasers, claiming the guns were purchased by them for their use. However, Lecara directed the conspirators on which firearms to purchase, focusing on firearms popular with Mexican cartels, and took possession of them shortly after they were purchased. In August 2018, numerous firearms purchased on Lecara’s behalf were recovered in a stash location in San Antonio along with a significant amount of crystal methamphetamine.
On January 13, 2022, Lecara pleaded guilty to three counts of aiding and abetting false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms. Lecara has remained in federal custody since his arrest on July 22, 2021.
“This case illustrates why our office and law enforcement partners are committed to prosecuting those who violate federal firearms laws,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. “Lying and buying schemes such as this endanger the public and offenders who sign on the dotted line should expect to do hard time.”
“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has no greater mission than keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals. This case not only demonstrates the lengths to which criminals will go to acquire firearms, but more importantly, ATF’s expertise and commitment to investigating such violations of federal law,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Fred Milanowski. “In partnership with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the United States Attorney’s Office, we will continue to work tirelessly to bring those who disregard the safety of our communities to justice.”
“By putting weapons smugglers behind bars, law enforcement disrupts the supply of firearms before they fall into the hands of violent drug cartels who pose a threat both here and abroad,” said Shane Folden, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations, San Antonio. “HSI will continue working with our federal law enforcement partners both domestic and international in this effort.”
The ATF and HSI, along with valuable assistance from the Texas Department of Public Safety, investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph Lo Galbo, Eric Yuen and Karina O’Daniel prosecuted the case.
This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
Updated May 2, 2022
Project Safe Neighborhoods