Laredo residents admit to weapons violations


LAREDO, Texas – Two men who resided in Laredo, one illegally, have entered guilty pleas to possession of a firearm and ammunition by a prohibited person, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Hector Fernando Rodriguez-Neri, 20, is a Mexican citizen unlawfully in the United States. Gaona, 26, is a convicted felon. As such, they are both prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition per federal law.  

However, on March 31, Rodriguez-Neri and Gaona were in possession of a semi-automatic rifle and ammunition which they sold to undercover authorities for $1,300. Rodriguez-Neri also admitted to selling two machine guns, one of which had an obliterated serial number on April 27 and May 7 for a total of $5,600.

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Both pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition by a prohibited person. Rodriguez-Neri also admitted to five additional counts of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, two counts of transferring a machine gun and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. 

U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo has set sentencing for Dec. 7. At that time, Both men face up to 10 years in prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine. Rodriguez-Neri’s other convictions carry the same penalties, but he also faces up to five years for the possession count involving an obliterated serial number.  

They have been and will remain in custody pending that hearing. 

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The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno is prosecuting the case.

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