Texas man sentenced for weapons violation tied to purchase of nearly 50 firearms

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EL PASO, Texas  – An El Paso man was sentenced Tuesday to 41 months in prison for dealing firearms without a license, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) assisted with the case.

According to court documents and testimony at trial, between December 2019 and August 2020, Jose Luis Garcia Jr., 34, purchased at least 49 firearms from federal firearm licensees in El Paso. Agents observed that Garcia, who was living in Mexico at the time, would often cross into the United States for just a few hours to purchase firearms and then return to Mexico.

On Aug. 8, 2020, Garcia was interviewed by federal agents who asked if he currently owned any of the 49 firearms he had purchased. Garcia responded he did not own any firearms at the time. On Aug. 11, a federal jury found Garcia guilty of one count of dealing firearms without a license.

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Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gregory McDonald and Ellen Denum prosecuted the case.

HSI is a directorate of ICE and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move.

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