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March 22, 2023Del Rio, TX, United StatesFirearms, Ammunition and Explosives

Mexican citizen pleads guilty to firearms smuggling after HSI Del Rio investigation

DEL RIO, Texas — A Mexican citizen pleaded guilty in federal court March 20 to smuggling firearms and ammunition into Mexico from the United States. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection investigated.

On March 20, Jose Jesus Hernandez-Valle, 54, pleaded guilty to smuggling various calibers of firearms into Mexico.  

According to court documents, Hernandez-Valle conspired with others to smuggle a 9mm pistol, a .40-caliber pistol, and more than 200 rounds of ammunition and other firearm accessories into Mexico. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered and seized the firearms, ammunition and accessories at the Del Rio International Port of Entry on Nov. 2, 2022.

Hernandez-Valle is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 25, 2023, before a federal judge and could face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zachary Bird and Alex Brown for the Western District of Texas are prosecuting the

HSI encourages you to report allegations of cross-border weapons trafficking by submitting tips at or by calling the HSI Tipline at 866- 347-2423 from the U.S. and Canada, or 802-872-6199 from any country in the world.

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.