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Two Texas men headed to prison for selling machine guns destined for Mexico

Department of Justice. (Scott "Skippy"/Flickr)
February 17, 2020

Two South Texas men have been ordered to federal prison following their convictions of transferring machine guns, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Martin Guerra, 44, Palmview, and Saul De La Garza, 46, Sullivan City, pleaded guilty Nov 25, 2019.

Today, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez sentenced Guerra to 50 months in federal prison while De La Garza, a previously convicted felon, received a total 78-month term of imprisonment. Both men will then serve three years of supervised release following completion of their prison terms. In handing down the sentence, Judge Alvarez stressed the significant nature of the crime both men committed and noted the demand for firearms in Mexico.

Both men had attempted to coordinate the sale of three machine guns – two Glock auto-switches and an AR-style rifle – to undercover authorities. The men believed the weapons would ultimately be illicitly transported to Mexico. Through the course of the investigation, Guerra bragged that he would be able to provide as many weapons as desired. De La Garza claimed he would be able to transport firearms from Houston to the Rio Grande Valley and coordinated with Guerra to make the sale of the machine guns.

Guerra has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future, while Garza was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender at a later date.

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Mitchell Prosecuted the case.