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December 2, 2021Phoenix, AZ, United StatesFirearms, Ammunition and Explosives

ICE HSI Casa Grande investigation sends smugglers to prison

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – A Phoenix area man was sentenced Wednesday to 37 months in prison for attempting to smuggle ammunition from the United States into Mexico, following a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) assisted in this investigation.

“HSI special agents are committed to combating the smuggling of ammunition that fuel violence both domestically and abroad,” said Scott Brown, special agent in charge for HSI Phoenix. “By partnering with local law enforcement, we send a strong message that the border is not open for illicit activity.”

Mauricio Robles, 26, of Phoenix, Arizona, was indicted in federal court Oct. 21. The court previously sentenced Robles’ co-defendant, Arlando Torres, 36, of Texas, to 70 months in prison on Sept. 30.

On May 4, 2020, AZDPS troopers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle Torres was driving. Robles was the sole passenger and the owner of the vehicle. Inside the vehicle, DPS troopers found almost 6,000 rounds of ammunition and thirty ammunition magazines. Torres and Robles intended to provide the ammunition to other individuals who would then smuggle the ammunition from the United States into Mexico on behalf of a criminal organization, in exchange for payment.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela W. Woolridge, District of Arizona, Tucson, handled the prosecution.

HSI is a directorate of ICE and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 Special Agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Learn more about HSI Phoenix mission @HSIPhoenix.