MINNEAPOLIS — A local man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Thursday to smuggling AK-47 assault rifle parts to a third party in Paraguay. The guilty plea resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), in cooperation with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Fabian Patricio Lojano-Lojano, 30, pleaded guilty to one count of smuggling goods from the United States. Lojano-Lojano, who was charged on Oct. 12, entered his plea before U.S. District Court Judge Richard H. Kyle.
In his plea agreement, Lojano-Lojano admitted that on June 23, 2010, he dropped off a package at a United Parcel Service (UPS) station in Minneapolis destined for an address in Paraguay. Lojano-Lojano said the package contained t-shirts, but it actually contained parts for AK-47s.
On July 1, 2010, UPS received additional packages from Lojano-Lojano. The destination addresses on those packages were the same as the previous package. However, Lojano-Lojano had used a false name and a false return address on these packages. The packages also contained parts for six AK-47 rifles.
In total, Lojano admitted sending packages to the same individuals in Paraguay on 46 prior occasions between September 2009 and June 2010. At least 10 firearms were ultimately provided to the addressee in Paraguay through this process. On May 18, authorities executed a search warrant at Lojano-Lojano's residence and seized two boxes containing parts and accessories for additional weapons, including parts for the M4 rifle. The M4 is a weapon similar to the M16. Both are currently in use by the U.S. military.
Lojano-Lojano faces a potential maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.