TUCSON, Ariz. –Luis Manuel Bray-Vazquez, 35, a Mexican citizen, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Jennifer G. Zipps to 46 months in prison for attempting to smuggle firearms from the United States into Mexico. Bray-Vasquez previously pleaded guilty.
On November 4, 2020, Bray-Vazquez, a driver for the United States Consulate in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, attempted to enter Mexico through the Nogales Port of Entry while driving a U.S. Consular vehicle. Customs and Border Protection officers tried to conduct an outbound border search of the vehicle, but Bray-Vazquez fled from the officers at a high rate of speed. Officers reacted quickly and were able to close the exit gate to prevent Bray-Vazquez from entering Mexico. They searched the Consular vehicle that Bray-Vazquez was driving and found a total of ten rifles and five pistols, including a Barrett .50 caliber rifle and several AK-47 and AR variant rifles and pistols. Bray-Vazquez admitted he was being paid to smuggle the firearms into Mexico and that he had successfully done so on previous occasions.
“The trafficking of weapons from the United States into Mexico – especially of the type and quantity smuggled by Bray-Vazquez – has devastating repercussions in both countries,” said Acting United States Attorney Glenn B. McCormick. “Bray-Vazquez’s prosecution and the length of sentence imposed should serve as a warning that weapons smugglers, including anyone attempting to hide behind the veil of an official position, will pay a heavy price for their crimes.”
“This sentence demonstrates that there are serious consequences for those who lack respect for our nation’s laws or our borders,” said Scott Brown, special agent in charge for HSI Phoenix. “HSI remains committed to combating the illegal smuggling of firearms that fuel violence both domestically and abroad. We will continue to collaborate with our law enforcement partners to get dangerous criminals off the streets and locked up behind bars.”
Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation in this case, with the assistance of Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela W. Woolridge, District of Arizona, Tucson, handled the prosecution.
CASE NUMBER: 21-0655-TUC-JGZ
RELEASE NUMBER: 2021-055_Bray-Vazquez
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For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/az/
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