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Press Release

Two New Braunfels Ammo Smugglers Found Guilty Of Federal Charges

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

In Del Rio on Friday evening, a federal jury found 23-year-old Jesus Cardenas of New Braunfels, TX, and 34-year-old Luis Cardenas guilty on multiple counts of smuggling ammunition from the United States announced U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman and Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Janice Ayala.

The federal jury convicted the brothers of two counts of smuggling ammunition from the United States.  The jury also convicted Jesus Cardenas of two counts of smuggling ammunition and magazines from the United States. 

Evidence presented during the three-day-trial showed that on two separate occasions between November 2011 and January 2012, Jesus Cardenas purchased, on behalf of an individual in Piedras Negras, Mexico, a total of more than 15,000 rounds of ammunition and 400 assault rifle magazines intended for export to Mexico.   Furthermore, Luis Cardenas was paid to transfer the ammunition to an individual who then transported it to Del Rio. 

On December 1, 2011, United States Border Patrol agents seized part of the ammunition along with 23 assault rifles within yards of the Rio Grande River outside Del Rio.  Special Agents with Homeland Security Investigations seized additional ammunition and magazines in January 2012.

Both remain in custody pending sentencing.  Each charge of conviction calls for a maximum of ten years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine.  Sentencing for the case is presently set for August 14, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Alia Moses in Del Rio.

This case resulted from an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) together with United States Customs and Border Protection, United States Border Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorneys Lewis Thomas and Patrick Burke are prosecuting this case for the Government. 

Updated December 15, 2014