LAREDO, Texas – A Laredoan
has been ordered to prison following his convictions for his role in smuggling
firearms into Mexico, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. Ruben
Arnoldo Madrid, 21, pleaded guilty June 2, 2017.
Today, U.S. District Judge
Diana Saldaña sentenced Madrid to a term of 51 months in federal prison to be
immediately followed by three years of supervised release.
Madrid participated in a
scheme to purchase civilian variants of firearms currently issued to military
forces from various local firearms dealers. Between March 2016 and November
2016, Ruben Madrid’s brother, Juan Diego Madrid, 27, of Laredo, directed
several individuals including Rolando Armando Madrid, 21, (Ruben’s twin
brother), Edward Alexander Duenas, 20, and Francisco Xavier Martinez, 25, all
of Laredo, to purchase the firearms. The firearms were then transferred to Erik
Villasana, 20, also of Laredo, who arranged for the firearms to be smuggled
into Mexico. Ruben and Rolando Madrid initiated the scheme, after which their
older brother, Juan, took over the operation. The court noted that Ruben Madrid
personally purchased nine firearms out of 36 firearms identified by law
enforcement as sold during the operation. Three of the 36 firearms have since
been recovered in Mexico.
The straw purchasers bought
AR-15 and AK-47-type semiautomatic rifles, Beretta 92FS and DPMS AR-type rifles
from Academy and Kirkpatrick Guns & Ammo stores in Laredo and San Antonio.
Juan Madrid would then purchase the firearms from the straw purchasers and then
re-sell them at a profit to Villasana who would then arrange for the firearms
to be smuggled into Mexico. Juan Madrid was already a convicted felon and
thereby prohibited from purchasing, owning or possessing firearms.
On Nov. 16, 2017, U.S.
District Judge Diana Saldaña sentenced Juan Madrid to a term of 65 months in
federal prison, while Rolando Madrid, Villasana, Duenas and Martinez received
respective sentences of 51, 63, 27 and 41 months in prison.
Ruben Madrid was permitted to
remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility
to be determined in the near future.
The Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s
Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S.
Attorney (AUSA) Homero Ramirez and Special AUSA Lisa Ezra prosecuted the case.