LAREDO, Texas — A Mexican couple pleaded guilty Monday to possessing 27,000 rounds of ammunition, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Laredo Police Department (LPD).
Abraham Garcia-Perguero, 35, and Maria Isabel Rodriguez-Olivio, 33, both Mexican nationals living in Laredo, Texas, pleaded guilty May 14 to smuggling the stash of ammunition.
According to the court documents, on March 14, LPD patrol officers stopped a 2001 Dodge Ram pickup truck driven by Garcia-Perguero for failing to stop at a stop sign. Rodriguez-Olivio and their minor daughter were passengers, and officers observed several boxes of ammunition inside. A total of 27 boxes were identified in the bed of the pickup truck containing a total of 27,000 rounds of .223 caliber ammunition. Officers also found a box of 50 rounds of .40 caliber ammunition and an unloaded extended magazine for a .40 Glock pistol in the cab of the truck.
Garcia-Perguero and Rodriguez-Olivio admitted they had just picked up the ammunition and Glock magazine from a local gun store in Laredo and were taking it to someone who was waiting for them near the Exotica's Gentleman's Club. They expected to be paid between $400 and $500 for picking up and delivering the ammunition.
Both have been in custody since their arrest, where they will remain pending their sentencing hearing which will be set in the near future. At that time, each faces a possible penalty of 10 years in federal prison as well as a maximum $250,000 fine.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a nationwide commitment to reduce gun and gang crime in America by networking existing local programs that target gun and gun crime, and providing these programs with additional tools necessary to be successful. Since its inception in 2001, approximately $2 billion has been committed to this initiative. This funding is being used to hire new federal and state prosecutors, support investigators, provide training, distribute gun lock safety kits, deter juvenile gun crime and develop and promote community outreach efforts as well as to support other gun and gang violence reduction strategies.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Homero Ramirez, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted the case.