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January 17, 2023Eagle Pass, TX, United StatesFirearms, Ammunition and Explosives

Kansas man charged with smuggling firearms into Mexico following an HSI, federal partner investigation

EAGLE PASS, Texas — A Kansas man was indicted during the week of January 9 for smuggling firearms, ammunition and other firearms accessories from the United States into Mexico following an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations.

A federal grand jury in Del Rio returned an indictment charging Jose Guadalupe Martinez-Ortiz, 28, of Garden City, Kansas.

According to court documents, CBP officials were conducting routine outbound inspections at the Eagle Pass Camino Real Bridge II on Dec. 16 when they searched a pickup and utility trailer operated by Martinez-Ortiz. CBP officers found three handguns, four magazines, three gun scopes and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.

On Dec. 19, Martinez-Ortiz appeared before a federal judge. The one-count indictment charges Martinez-Ortiz with smuggling goods from the United States.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine the sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Brown, Western District of Texas, is prosecuting the case.

HSI is 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 more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 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.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated: 01/19/2023