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Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit
01/28/2014

South Texas former gun store owner pleads guilty to smuggling ammunition and firearms magazines to Mexico

LAREDO, Texas – A local gun store owner pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiring to smuggle firearms ammunition and magazines to Mexico, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas.

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); with the assistance of the Laredo Police Department.

Robert Jacaman Sr. 60, owner of Jacaman Guns and Ammo, as a convicted felon, surrendered his federal firearms license. He is no longer a firearms dealer and is prohibited from possessing firearms, ammunition and destructive devices.

According to court documents, Jacaman admitted to unlawfully conspiring with others to fraudulently and knowingly export .223-caliber and 7.62mm ammunition and high-capacity rifle magazines designed to fit AR-15-type and AK-47-type firearms, contrary to the Arms Export Control Act. Several violations Jacaman committed were part of the conspiracy discussed with federal U.S. Magistrate Judge Diana Song Quiroga, who presided over Jacaman’s guilty plea Tuesday.

Jacaman admitted being in direct contact with Oswaldo Roberto Borrego-Ramos, aka "Baldo" during the conspiracy, who negotiated with Jacaman the purchase and delivery of the ammunition and firearm magazines. Borrego-Ramos then sent couriers to deliver cash to Jacaman and others to pick up the items to smuggle into Mexico. In one instance, Jacaman even advised Borrego-Ramos of an outstanding balance which he had not paid for prior sales.

Another co-defendant, Alejandro Rivera-Ruiz, admitted delivering more than $100,000 to Jacaman on behalf of Borrego-Ramos. According to court documents, Borrego-Ramos told agents he was working for "Los Zetas" Mexican criminal organization, supplying them with firearms, ammunition and firearm accessories, such as firearm magazines from various sources, including Jacaman.

On March 14, 2012, authorities arrested two Mexican nationals who had just received 27,000 rounds of .223-caliber ammunition from Jacaman’s gun store. They admitted they were on their way to deliver the ammunition to a waiting Mexican truck driver who would smuggle the ammunition to Mexico. They admitted working for Rivera-Ruiz and Borrego-Ramos.

Borrego-Ramos, Rivera-Ruiz and the two Mexican nationals have all pleaded guilty and are serving their sentences in federal prison for their respective crimes.

Others, who were originally named with Jacaman in the indictment, Atanacio "None" Gonzalez-Torres, 43, Jose Luis Estrada, 23, and Carlos Picazio, 30, have also pleaded guilty for their roles in this conspiracy, and are pending sentencing. Jacaman was permitted to remain on bond pending his sentencing hearing, set for May 27 before U.S. Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo. At that time, he faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine.

The ammunition and magazines referenced in this indictment were intercepted before being delivered to Mexico.

One of HSI's top priorities is dismantling organizations involved in smuggling firearms to Mexican drug cartels. The collective expertise and authorities of our law enforcement partners during this investigation significantly contributed to preventing hundreds of rifles and handguns from reaching violent criminal organizations, and prosecuting those who were responsible. Several police officers have been cross-designated as ATF Task Force officers working directly with the federal agency, to assisting in this investigation and other crimes.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jose Homero Ramirez, Southern District of Texas, is prosecuting this case.