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Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives
10/25/2019

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Mesa man sentenced to prison for attempting to smuggle firearms and ammunition to Mexico

TUCSON, Ariz. – Miguel Sanchez Alvarez, aka Raul Laureano Sanchez Alvarez, 43, of Mesa, Arizona, was sentenced Oct. 22 to 36 months in prison followed by 36 months of supervised release by U.S. District Judge David C. Burry following a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Alvarez was convicted May 24, after a jury trial on one count of unlawful smuggling of goods from the United States.

“This case shows yet again the lengths to which smugglers will go in an effort to conceal their contraband,” said Scott Brown, special agent in charge of HSI Phoenix. “This seizure, subsequent investigation, and prosecution highlights the fine work federal border security agencies perform each day, often behind the scenes and often unknown to the public. HSI will continue to aggressively investigate those who attempt to circumvent our nations customs law by concealing illicit goods destined to cross our borders.”

On October 1, 2017, Alvarez and an accomplice attempted to smuggle nine semi-automatic handguns, thirteen magazines and two hundred rounds of ammunition into Mexico via the DeConcini Port of Entry in Nogales, Arizona. The evidence showed that Alvarez owned all of the firearms and ammunition, concealed them at the bottom of a bucket filled with roofing tar, and provided the bucket to his accomplice, Victor Orlando Leal-Medina, to smuggle into Mexico. Leal-Medina pleaded guilty to the same offense and was sentenced by Judge Bury to 14 months in prison in December 2018.

The prosecution was handled by Michael R. Lizano, Brian C. Hopkins and Stefani K. Hepford, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Tucson.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 10/30/2019