Texan convicted of attempting to export firearms, magazines and ammunition

/
ammunition or rounds for a gun or a firearm, shooting ammo

LAREDO, Texas – A Laredo federal jury has convicted a 64-year-old man for attempting to export firearms, firearm magazines and thousands of rounds of ammunition to Mexico, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

The jury deliberated for less than six hours before convicting Jose Rafael Vasquez, Dallas, following a two-day trial.

On Oct. 15, 2020, Vasquez attempted to exit the United States into Mexico through the Laredo Port of Entry. The jury heard that he was driving a tan 2007 Chevrolet Suburban. During initial inspection, law enforcement discovered suspicious bundles zip-tied to the undercarriage of the vehicle. They appeared to contain ammunition.

Breaking News:  Illinois woman charged for photographing, interfering with Grizzly bear and cubs

A further inspection revealed three AK-47 rifles, eight semi-automatic handguns of various calibers, 16 handgun magazines and approximately 4,714 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition hidden inside his vehicle. Several of the handguns had decorative handles. The jury heard testimony that these weapons were expensive and highly prized by senior members of criminal organizations in Mexico.


The weapons and ammunition had an approximate street value of $25,000.

The defense attempted to convince the jury Vasquez did not know about the items inside the vehicle. They did not believe his claims and found him guilty as charged.

U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana presided over trial and will set sentencing for a later date. At that time, Vasquez faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

Breaking News:  Nine MS-13 Gang Members Indicted in Racketeering and Violent Crime Conspiracy

Previously released on bond, Vasquez was taken into custody following the sentencing today where he will remain pending sentencing.  

Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation along with Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Francisco J. Rodriguez and David Fawcett are prosecuting the case.

Victim Witness Assistance

Learn More


Civil Rights Enforcement


 

Learn More

Apply Now

We are currently accepting applications for Law Student Interns. Click for more info.


 

Learn More

Project Safe Childhood

Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.


 

Learn More

Breaking News:  Gang Member Sentenced to 21+ Years for Drug Crime