Mexican security guard sentenced to prison for attempted export of firearms partsby Hugh Holub on May. 16, 2011, under border issues, crime
Press Release from US Attorney’s Office May 16, 2011:
MEXICAN SECURITY GUARD SENTENCED TO 4 YEARS PRISON FOR ATTEMPTED EXPORT OF FIREARM COMPONENTS
TUCSON, Ariz. – Abraham Molina-Barron, 38, of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, was sentenced on May 12 to nearly four years in prison for attempted export of defense articles, by U.S. District Court Judge Fred L. Van Sickle.
On September 19, 2010, Molina-Barron, attempted to depart the United States through the DeConcini Port of Entry in Nogales, Arizona. Agents searched the car in which Molina-Barron was the driver and sole occupant. Officers found 50 lower receiver blanks for AR-15/M-4 style rifles hidden in the wall panels of the vehicle. Inspections like this are part of an increased effort to search cars departing the United States to stem the flow of illegal exports to Mexico.
Molina-Barron admitted he had concealed the lower receiver blanks in his vehicle, and intended to transport them into Mexico. Lower receiver blanks are firearms components that have not yet been milled (the portion that will become the body of the firearm, but without the trigger mechanism and other parts attached). Lower receiver blanks are unlawful for export from the United States without a license, which Molina-Barron did not have. Molina-Barron, a security guard at corrections facility in Mexico, pleaded guilty to his offense on February 16, 2011. In sentencing Molina-Barron to 46 months prison, Judge Van Sickle rejected the defendant’s claim that he had been forced to commit his offense.
The investigation leading to the conviction was conducted by the Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Customs and Border Protection. The prosecution was handled by Angela Woolridge, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.