Two Del Rio Residents Sentenced to Federal Prison for Role in Scheme to Smuggle Grenades into the Republic of Mexico
In Del Rio today, 28-year-old Noe Ramirez and 28-year-old Juliette Ramirez (no relation) were sentenced to 97 months and 60 months in federal prison, respectively, for their roles in a scheme to smuggle three dozen grenades into Acuna, Mexico, announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge James Spero, San Antonio Division.
In addition to the prison sentences, United States District Judge Alia Moses ordered that Noe Ramirez pay a $2,000 fine and Juliette Ramirez pay a $500 fine. Judge Moses further ordered that the defendants be placed on supervised release for a period of three years after completing their prison terms.
On November 6, 2014, both defendants entered guilty pleas: Juliette Ramirez, to one count of exportation of a military grade sub-munition (grenade); and Noe Ramirez, one count of aiding and abetting the exportation of a military grade sub-munition (grenade).
According to court records, on August 2, 2014, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Del Rio Port of Entry arrested Juliette Ramirez. At the time, CBP agents discovered her to be in possession of a single grenade while she was attempting to walk from the United States into the Republic of Mexico. Subsequently, HSI agents executed a search warrant at the residence of Noe Ramirez where they discovered the remaining 35 grenades.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations together with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Laredo Police Department Bomb Squad also assisted with the disposal of the ordinance. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Watters prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.