Romanian AK 47 of the type found at Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry's muder scene
Press Release from US Attorney’s Office- Arizona May 19, 2011
PROHIBITED POSSESSOR RECRUITING OTHERS TO BUY FIREARMS CHARGED WITH 25 GUN COUNTS
PHOENIX – A federal grand jury on Wednesday returned a 25-count Superseding Indictment against Jose Sauceda-Cuevas, 31, of Sinaloa, Mexico, on a variety of gun trafficking charges. The indictment alleges two separate Conspiracies to Make a False Statement in Connection with the Acquisition of Firearms, eight substantive counts of False Statements, five counts of Aggravated Identity Theft, five counts of Illegal Alien in Possession of a Firearm and five counts Felon in Possession of a Firearm.
This prosecution is part of a joint investigation made public in February between Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. There are four other indictments related to this matter for a total of 17 defendants charged in five separate cases involving over 300 weapons — mostly AK-47-type rifles and automatic pistols — seized here, in Mexico and in Texas. The weapons had been bought by “straw purchasers” from licensed gun stores in Arizona.
“Warring Mexican drug cartels continue to arm themselves in Arizona, and we believe this defendant was part and parcel to that effort,” said U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke. “This defendant orchestrated straw purchases of over 110 assault rifles and pistols in a multi-state enterprise to provide weapons for the drug war. I commend our partners at ATF and HSI for their unwavering commitment to finding and dismantling these trafficking organizations.”
“This indictment would not have been possible if not for the collaborative efforts of our law enforcement partners,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge, Thomas Brandon. “We must remain steadfast in our pursuit of these criminal trafficking organizations.”
Matt Allen, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Arizona, added, “Weapons procurement networks are highly reliant on straw purchasers to be their pawns in buying weapons from licensed dealers, but HSI is not content to go after just the low-level foot soldiers in these organizations. As this investigation demonstrates, we are focused on moving past the foot soldiers to target those responsible for playing leadership roles in these criminal enterprises.”
The Superseding Indictment alleges that Sauceda-Cuevas gave his 19-year-old co-defendant Gerardo Chaidez-Ochoa money to purchase nine rifles in November 2009, and that Chaidez-Ochoa obtained those rifles by representing to the federal licensed gun dealer that he was the actual buyer of the firearms. Sauceda-Cuevas also asked Salvador Figueroa Resa to buy firearms, and that Resa recruited seven others to buy 35 pistols and 71 rifles during a five-month period in 2010. Resa is charged in a separate 12-count Second Superseding Indictment along with five co-defendants whom he recruited to buy firearms. Sauceda-Cuevas also purchased 12 firearms by using the identity of Alejandro Macedo and failing to reveal that he is an illegal alien and a twice-convicted felon.
A conviction for False Statement in Connection with the Acquisition of a Firearm carries a maximum penalty of five years, a $250,000 fine or both. A conviction for Making a Material False Statement in Connection with the Acquisition of a Firearm, and Illegal Alien or Felon in possession of a Firearm carries a maximum penalty of 10 years, a $250,000 fine or both. A conviction for Aggravated Identity Theft carries a mandatory penalty of two years which must be served consecutive to any prison term imposed for the felony for which the identification was used, a $250,000 fine or both. In determining an actual sentence, Judge Neil V. Wake will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence but must impose any mandatory minimum sentence required by statute.
An indictment is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The prosecution is being handled by Lisa Jennis Settel, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.
CASE NUMBER: CR-10-01129-PHX-NVW
This is very interesting in that it ties to the whole ATF Gunwalker scndal where ATF was allowing guns to be purchased by “straw” buyers in Phoenix and then “walked” into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels.
The scheme was part of ATF’s Project Gunrunner called Project Fast and Furious. It is now under inbestigation by US Senate and House committees and the scandal is being called “Gunwalker”.
Two of these ATF “walked” guns were found at the murder secene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
To some of us it looks loke the government is trying to deflect attention away from the Gunwalker scandal…and try and make it look like something good came out of this besides a lot of dead bodies.
More on ATF Gunwalker:
Congressional investigators back in Arizona for “Gunwalker”
Issa Leads Congressional Investigation of DOJ’s ATF “Operation Fast & Furious”
“What am I going to tell Agent Terry’s mother?”–Rep. Darrell Issa question to Attorney General Holder
Grassley and Issa pound on Attorney General about ATF “Gunwalker” scandal
1,800 missing guns…1,800 dead bodies?
Gun shop owner warned ATF that “walking” guns to the Mexican drug cartels was wrong
“Thank God for Whistle Blowers”–Senator Charles Grassley on ATF scandal
Obama on ATF letting guns “walk” into Mexico: “There may be a situation here which a serious mistake was made, and if that’s the case, then we’ll find out and we’ll hold somebody accountable.”
ATF gunwalker scandal … did US Customs and Border Protection look the other way when the guns were headed south?
Mexican officials claim ATF “walked” guns suspected in the death of 150 Mexicans
Bersin blames Border Patrol Agents for Bean Bags
US House Republicans Want Answers on ATF Gun Trafficking Program
It must be real if it is in the Washington Post…ATF Gunrunner scandal finally gets coverage in DC
Mexico questions ATF’s Gunrunner program
ATF gun running scheme finally getting scrutinized… Now there is no question that ATF “walked” guns were found at the murder site of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry
ATF Let Hundreds of U.S. Weapons Fall into Hands of Suspected Mexican Gunrunners…and 2 of these guns were found at Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s murder site
CBS News Reports: ATF agent ordered to let guns into Mexico
CBS News reports on ATF scandal…was Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry murdered by a gun being tracked by ATF?
Inside ATF…an ugly picture …how many dead bodies are out there as a result of Project Gunrunner?
Senator Grassley struggles to get to the bottom of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s death and the role of ATF
FBI: Friendly fire ruled out in Tucson border agent’s slaying …so which gun fired the bullet that killed Brian Terry?
Grassley blasts Department of Justice on coverup of guns used in Agent Terry’s murder
Dept. of Justice denies gun claim about Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s death
Is there a cover-up on Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s murder?
Senator Grassley letters accusing BATFE of letting guns be sold that may have been used in the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry
Was Border Patrol agent Brian Terry killed by a gun bought in Phoenix?
Mexican President blames cartel violence on US guns