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Honduran man sentenced to 78 months for drug trafficking and possession of a firearm

BATON ROUGE, La. - A Honduran man who attempted to distribute cocaine and smuggle firearms was sentenced yesterday to serve 78 months in prison and three years of supervised release, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office.

Mario Barahona-Munguia, 40, pled guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and one count of possession of a firearm by an illegal alien. When apprehended, he had an outstanding immigration order requiring his removal from the United States to Honduras which was issued in 2005.

Barahona-Munguia requested to be removed rather than serve imprisonment. Chief Judge Tyson, in ordering the 78-month sentence, found that, in addition to trafficking cocaine, the evidence demonstrated that the defendant was involved in trafficking firearms, as well as smuggling firearms to Honduras. The charges stemmed from an undercover operation involving the purchase of a firearm and narcotics from Barahona-Munguia.

"The defendant in this case brought illicit drugs and firearms into our community and put the safety and well-being of the public at risk," said Raymond R. Parmer, Jr., special agent in charge of ICE HSI in New Orleans. "This case illustrates that there is a significant price to pay for those who engage in this type of dangerous criminal activity. HSI will continue to aggressively investigate those who ignore our nation's drug and firearms trafficking laws."

U.S. Attorney Cazayoux, Middle District of Louisiana, remarked, "We will vigilantly defend our citizens against narcotics and firearms trafficking. Barahona-Munguia's sentence - rather than immediate removal - should send a message to those who enter our borders and commit serious crimes that their behavior will not be tolerated."

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan C. Amundson, Middle District of Louisiana.