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Firearms, Ammunition & Explosives

South Texas man sentenced to 5 years for illegally purchasing a machine gun

SAN ANTONIO - A Mission, Texas, man was sentenced on Friday to five years in federal prison for illegally purchasing a machine gun, announced U.S. Attorney John E. Murphy, Western District of Texas. The sentencing resulted from a joint investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Jesus Patlan, 26, was sentenced May 14 by U.S. District Judge Fred Biery to 60 months in federal prison. The judge also ordered Patlan to serve three years of supervised release.

"This case demonstrates the cooperative and relentless efforts of ATF and ICE to bring to justice those individuals who could potentially bring harm to the communities we live in," said Jerry Robinette, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of investigations in San Antonio. "ICE takes seriously this type of federal law violation; and we will continue to aggressively investigate these cases."

Patlan was arrested on May 1, 2009, in San Antonio as a result of an investigation worked by ICE and ATF.

In January, Patlan pleaded guilty to possessing a machine gun. According to court documents, Patlan admitted to paying $1,400 to an undercover federal agent for a machine gun. The investigation also revealed that Patlan had purchased one of two Beretta 9mm pistols on Dec. 22, 2007, in McAllen, Texas. The investigation further revealed that both weapons had been recovered in Zacapa, Guatemala, following a cartel drug battle on March 25, 2008.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ray Gattinella, Western District of Texas, prosecuted this case.