José Rafael Vásquez, a Texas resident, was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison for attempting to smuggle weapons and ammunition into Mexico
MEXICO, (December 16, 2021).- A Dallas, Texas, resident was sentenced to more than five years in federal prison for attempting to smuggle firearms, chargers, and thousands of cartridges into Mexico, the Department of Justice (DOJ) reported.
José Rafael Vásquez, 64 years old, was found guilty by a jury on July 1 on charges of attempting to bring weapons to Mexico.
Now, federal judge Diana Saldaña has ordered Vásquez to serve 63 months in federal prison, followed by a three-year period of supervised release.
Vásquez was discovered on October 15, 2020, when he tried to leave the United States for Mexico through the border port of Laredo, Texas. During the initial inspection, police discovered suspicious packages tied to the vehicle that appeared to contain ammunition.
In a second inspection, federal authorities discovered three AK-47 rifles, eight semi-automatic pistols of various calibers, 16 pistol magazines, and approximately 4,714 rounds of ammunition hidden inside his vehicle.
The defense tried to convince the jury that Vásquez was unaware of the items inside the vehicle.
At the hearing, the prosecution revealed that “the firearms had decorative handles and were quite expensive, which criminal organizations greatly appreciated in Mexico,” detailed the DOJ.
Judge Saldaña noted that Vásquez had also previously purchased a semi-automatic rifle in 2017 that was later found in a shooting in Durango, Mexico.