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U.S. Army sergeant sentenced to 17 years for smuggling arms to Mexican drug cartel

November 4, 2017  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
U.S. Army sergeant sentenced to 17 years for smuggling arms to Mexican drug cartel Former Army recruiter, Julian Prezas, leaving the Federal Courthouse Thursday (SBG Photo) Former Army recruiter, Julian Prezas, leaving the Federal Courthouse Thursday (SBG Photo)

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A federal district court judge ordered Julian Prezas, a U.S. military recruiter in South Texas to serve nearly 17 years in prison for his role in a arms trafficking conspiracy involving the smuggling of dozens of assault weapons to a drug cartel in Mexico.

According to the NBC4, Prezas was sentenced Thursday in San Antonio Federal Court.

The 37-year-old U.S. Army sergeant pleaded guilty in December to five counts of making a false statement during the purchase of firearms and one count related to attempting to export firearms to Mexico.

Federal authorities say Prezas conspired with several other soldiers in 2015 to illegally purchase more than 40 assault rifles and smuggle them into Mexico and into the hands of a drug cartel.

Three other co-conspirators in the case have received probation.

The members of the U.S. military were busted following a joint investigation involving both Homeland Security and ATF.

Prezas’ attorney George Dombarty, described his client as a decorated veteran who misunderstood gun sale laws and pleaded with the judge for leniency.

“We are just disappointed with the outcome and it’s unfortunate somebody who has given so much of his life to his country and now he’s going to have to pay with such a heavy price for it.”

Prosecutors who identified Julian Prezas as a former sergeant didn’t name which group the arms were intended for.

Details on his military status weren’t immediately available.

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