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Illegal alien from Mexico pleads guilty to unlawfully possessing a firearm

Defendant customized his .38-caliber handgun with diamonds, rubies and gold

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — A Mexican national pleaded guilty Tuesday for being an illegal alien possessing a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas. This guilty plea resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Luis Ivan Nino-Duenes, 27, of Control, Mexico, pleaded guilty in federal court June 19 just minutes before the jury panel was to be selected for the trial. Nino-Duenes admitted he illegally entered the United States, and that at the time of his arrest he possessed a customized gold, diamond and ruby encrusted Colt .38-caliber handgun.

U.S. District Court Judge Hilda G. Tagle accepted the guilty plea, and scheduled sentencing for Sept. 17, at which time Nino-Duenes could face up to 10 years in prison. The conviction also carries a possible maximum $250,000 fine. Nino-Duenes has been in custody since his arrest Oct. 26, 2011 where he will remain pending that hearing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Angel Castro, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted the case.