South Texas pawn shop owner pleads guilty to selling ammunition to noncitizen following HSI, federal partner investigation
McALLEN, Texas — A south Texas man pleaded guilty July 28 after admitting to selling thousands of rounds of ammunition to an individual illegally present in the United States. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Daniel Gallegos, 67, of McAllen, pleaded guilty to selling thousands of rounds of various ammunition.
According to court documents, Gallegos is the long-time owner and operator of Danny’s Pawn and Sporting Goods in McAllen. As part of his plea, Gallegos admitted to selling approximately 280 rounds of .50 BMG caliber ammunition as well as more than 5,000 rounds of various sizes, ranging from .223 caliber to .50 caliber. He provided all of it to someone he knew to be a prohibited person – an individual who was illegally and unlawfully present in the United States – on four separate occasions during 2021. Gallegos also admitted that he knew the person was prohibited under federal law from possessing the ammunition because the individual was illegally present in the country.
U.S. District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa has set sentencing for Oct. 18. At that time, Gallegos faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible $10,000 maximum fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert L. Guerra, Jr. Southern District of Texas, is prosecuting the case.
The Department of Justice launched Operation Guardian targeting firearms and illegal export of firearms in November 2019. On April 8, 2021, President Joe Biden issued executive orders specifically targeting crimes involving guns.
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 over 10,400 employees consists of more than 6,800 special agents assigned to 225 cities throughout the United States, and 86 overseas locations in 55 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.