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June 30, 2022Tucson, AZ, United StatesFirearms, Ammunition and Explosives

Tucson man sentenced to 30 months for firearms offenses following HSI Tucson, multiagency investigation

TUCSON, Ariz. – On June 21, a local area man was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release following his involvement in firearm offenses as a result of a multiagency investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and U.S. Custom and Border Protection’s U.S. Border Patrol.

Juan Carlos Rubio, 26, of Tucson, previously pleaded guilty to four counts of conspiracy to smuggle goods from the United States, smuggling goods from the United States, false statements in connection with acquisition of firearm, and aiding and abetting false statements in connection with acquisition of firearm.

“HSI is fully committed to stopping the flow of weapons illegally exported into Mexico,” said Scott Brown, special agent in charge for HSI Phoenix. “These weapons often contribute to fueling the violence committed by dangerous people, which drastically affects communities both in Mexico and in the United States. This sentence sends a strong message to weapons traffickers that HSI and our partnered law enforcement agencies will work aggressively to combat this egregious and dangerous criminal activity.”

In early 2020, Rubio, a former Arizona Department of Corrections officer, conspired with others to smuggle three firearms and 500 AK-type rifle magazines from the United States to Mexico. On Jan. 18, 2020, Rubio also lied while purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer, claiming on the required paperwork that he was buying the gun for himself, when he was purchasing it for someone else. On Feb. 18, 2020, Rubio aided and abetted a third party in making a similar false statement to a licensed dealer while purchasing a firearm on Rubio’s behalf.

This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders works together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

The United States Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Tucson handled the prosecution.

Learn more about weapons smuggling in Arizona at @HSIPhoenix.

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 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 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.

Updated: 06/30/2022