DALLAS - Three individuals were arrested on Monday by agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), assisted by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and other state and local law enforcement, on federal firearms charges outlined in two complaints. The arrests were announced by U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks for the Northern District of Texas.
Ranferi Osorio, 27, and his brother, Otilio Osorio, 22, were arrested Feb. 28 at their home on East Colonial Drive in Lancaster, Texas. Each Osorio brother is charged with possessing firearms with an obliterated serial number. Separately, according to information contained in one complaint, Mexican officials recently seized three firearms that were used in the deadly shooting on Feb. 15, 2011 of an ICE HSI agent. One of the firearms recovered was traced by ATF to Otilio Osorio.
An additional defendant, Kelvin Leon Morrison, 25, who is charged in a separate federal criminal complaint, was arrested at his home next door to the Osorio brothers. Morrison is charged with knowingly making false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms and dealing in firearms without a license.
A detention hearing for Morrison and Otilio Osorio is scheduled for March 1 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul D. Stickney in Dallas. Ranferi Osorio's detention hearing is scheduled for March 4, before Judge Stickney.
According to court documents filed in both cases, a Dallas ATF confidential informant (CI) arranged a meeting in early November 2010 with individuals who had firearms to be transported from Dallas to Laredo. The meeting was arranged related to an investigation of Los Zetas, a notoriously violent and ruthless drug trafficking organization. The weapons in question were ultimately seized by U.S. law enforcement near Laredo, before crossing the U.S./Mexico border.
According to the court documents, at the meeting, two men unloaded several large bags containing firearms into the CI's vehicle, which was kept under surveillance until a traffic stop in Laredo. According to the court documents, the two men's vehicle was later stopped by local police and the men were identified as Ranferi and Otilio Osorio. Morrison was the third passenger in the vehicle. The vehicle stopped in Laredo was searched and 40 firearms, all with obliterated serial numbers, were seized. Trace results indicated that three of these firearms could be specifically traced to Morrison, who bought them from federal firearms licensees (FFL) in the Dallas/Fort Worth area on Nov. 4, 2010.
The investigation now has also revealed that on Aug. 7, 2010 a Romarm, model WASR, 7.62mm rifle was discovered by law enforcement officers in LaPryor, Texas, near the U.S.-Mexico border. Trace results indicated that Morrison purchased this firearm on July 30, 2010 from a FFL. According to the affidavit, between July 10 and Nov. 4, 2010, Morrison purchased 24 firearms from FFLs.
In addition, according to one affidavit filed in the case, one of the three firearms used in the Feb. 15, 2011 deadly assault of ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata that was seized by Mexican officials has been traced by ATF to Otilio Osorio. Otilio Osorio allegedly purchased that firearm on Oct.10, 2010 in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, prior to law enforcement's awareness of the purchase. Ballistic testing conducted by Mexican authorities on this firearm indicated it was one of the three firearms used during the deadly assault on Special Agent Zapata's vehicle.
A federal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offenses charged, and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. If convicted, the penalty for possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, per count. The penalty for knowingly making false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, per count. The penalty for dealing in firearms without a license is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, per count.
The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the following agencies: ATF, DEA, FBI, UICE HSI, and the Lancaster, Texas, Police Department. These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Tromblay for the Northern District of Texas.