NOGALES, Ariz. – A Mexican national, and former law enforcement officer from Sonora, Mexico, was sentenced last week to 46 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his involvement in firearms smuggling as a result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations.
“This prison sentence sends a clear message – HSI will expose weapons traffickers who are knowingly and willingly violating our federal laws,” said Special Agent in Charge for HSI Arizona Scott Brown. “The defendant is no longer in a position to illegally traffic weapons and needlessly threaten the safety and security of the public.”
Cesar Ignacio Perez-Barrios, 48, of Santa Cruz, Sonora, Mexico, was also ordered to pay a $100 special assessment. Perez-Barrios pleaded guilty to smuggling goods from the United States.
On April 28, 2019, Perez-Barrios knowingly attempted to smuggle from the United States into Mexico: five AR-style upper receivers; five AR-style lower receivers; five AR-style barrels; five AR-style buffer tubes; five trigger kits; and five AR-style pistol grips. They concealed these items in a vehicle a co-conspirator drove while attempting to exit the United States into Mexico. Perez-Barrios expected to be paid for his role in the operation intended to illegally smuggle the firearm parts into Mexico from the United States.
Perez-Barrios arranged the transportation of the firearm parts, which are prohibited to export from the United States into Mexico without a valid license. Neither Perez-Barrios nor any of his associates had a valid license or any other lawful authority to export the items to Mexico.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brandon Bolling and Sandra M. Hansen for the District of Arizona, Tucson, handled the prosecution.
HSI is 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. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’ largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.
Source: Ive Government