MCALLEN, Texas — A Mexican national was sentenced to nearly two years in federal prison Monday on two counts of being an illegal alien possessing a firearm.
This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas. This investigation was jointly conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), with the assistance of San Juan Police Department.
Emilio Padilla, 24, of Taumalipas, Mexico, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Randy Crane to 21 months in federal prison. At the hearing, the defense contended that Padilla had possessed firearms to protect his family. As an illegal alien, Padilla is expected to face deportation proceedings following his release from prison. Padilla was convicted Oct. 24 following a two-day trial, and after less than an hour of deliberation.
According to court documents, the jury heard the testimony of several law enforcement officers who stated they had met with Padilla at his residence in Alamo on April 29, 2014. At that time, he admitted having several firearms, including two Glock 9mm pistols. It is unlawful for illegal aliens to possess firearms in the United States.
Agents searched Padilla’s residence and discovered the weapons, which were manufactured in Austria and had traveled in interstate and foreign commerce.
Padilla’s brother, Mariano Padilla, pleaded guilty June 6 to the same offense; he was sentenced Oct. 22 to 18 months in federal prison by Judge Randy Crane.
Emilio Padilla will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leo J. Leo III and David A. Lindenmuth, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.