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December 4, 2020McAllen, TXUnited StatesFirearms, Ammunition and Explosives

ICE investigation leads to conviction on exporting firearms, ammunition & explosive material

The Florida man aided and abetted defense materials through South Texas.

MCALLEN, Texas – A Florida man was convicted Friday of aiding and abetting the export of defense articles from the United States.

This case is being conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Harlingen Office in coordination with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

On Dec. 4, Brett McGinnis, from Ormond Beach, Florida, plead guilty before U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez. He admitted to mailing ammunition, firearms and firearm parts and mailing them to co-conspirators in McAllen who then would export them into Mexico.

According to court documents, from on or about May 12 through Sept. 13, 2018, law enforcement seized over 6,000 rounds of various caliber ammunition, 1,100 saw links (5.56mm), 35 firearm magazines, three firearms, multiple upper and lower receivers and other firearms accessories that were intended to be illegally exported to Mexico. McGinnis had attempted to provide some to co-conspirators. Each of these items were designated defense articles requiring a license to export into Mexico.

McGinnis also admitted to shipping 60 practice M781 grenade cartridges (40mm) and firearms prior to May 2018 that were intended to be exported into Mexico. M781 practice rounds are considered explosive materials requiring a federal explosives license to transport.

McGinnis did not possess such a license to transport explosives or to export defense articles.

U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez accepted the plea and will impose sentencing on Feb. 12, 2021. At that time, McGinnis faces up to 10 years in prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine. McGinnis was permitted to remain on bond pending sentencing

Assistant U.S. Attorney Roberto Lopez Jr, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted the case.

Updated: 12/09/2020