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Two National Guardsmen plead guilty to trafficking guns to Mexico

January 17, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Two National Guardsmen plead guilty to trafficking guns to Mexico

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Two members of the California National Guard pleaded guilty in San Diego federal court last week to charges of trafficking in illicit firearms destined for Mexico and intended to be delivered into the hands of ruthless drug smugglers.

The charges stemmed from an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and listed in an April 2015 indictment unsealed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego against Jaime Casillas and Andrew Reyes

The two defendants entered guilty pleas to one count each of selling firearms without a license before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mitchell Dembin.

Reyes plead guilty to three additional counts of unlawful transportation of firearms.

In the indictment, prosecutors accused Casillas and Reyes of acting as straw purchasers on behalf of a third party they believed to be a gun runner in Mexico and alleged that both men sold some firearms issued to them by the U.S. military.

Federal investigators said the suspects even showed up for a transaction dressed in their military uniforms.

As part his guilty plea, Reyes confessed to traveling to Texas on three occasions between September of 2014 and March of 2015 for the purchasing of high-powered assault rifles, which he transported back to California and sold to an ATF undercover agent.

The weapons included an AK-47 two AR-15 rifles and four high capacity .223-caliber rifles magazines and an AR-15 assault rifle.

Casillas admitted to selling an AR-15 assault rifle and a .40-caliber pistol to an uncover agent in 2014.

According to the indictment, the undercover federal agent on numerous occasions told Reyes and Casillas that the firearms they sold him were going to Mexico, according to the complaint.

Federal officials also said Casillas and Reyes knew some of the weapons purchased in Texas had serial numbers erased, meaning they were “hot” firearms either stolen or previously used in a commission of a crime.

A judge has scheduled sentencing for Reyes and Casillas for April 15, 2016.

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