Houston man sentenced to 4 years Mexican gun running

Houston Chronicle:

The first person to be sent to prison from among a group of arms traffickers who bought Houston guns for Mexican drug cartels was sentenced to nearly four years today.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Juan Pablo Gutierrez was a “prolific” purchaser among a group of 23 arms traffickers who bought at least 339 firearms for Mexican organized crime syndicates in 2006 and 2007.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark White told U.S. District Judge Gray Miller that Gutierrez was not supplying common thugs on Mexico’s streets, but that he was “arming an infantry squad.”

Gutierrez’s lawyer, David Adler, already has filed notice of his intent to appeal the sentence.

At least 40 of the guns purchased by the group later were recovered at crime scenes in Mexico and Guatemala as gangsters wage a protracted war against each other and the Mexican government, the ATF said.

...

That does not sound like that stiff a sentence for being an accessory to murders. When you look at the pattern of purchases it is hard to argue that he was ignorant of their intended purpose.

However, it is a mistake to suggest that he is representative of other weapons purchased by the Mexican criminal insurgency. As I have noted before some of the heavier weapons used by the cartel cannot be bought at Carter Country, where most of these weapons were purchased. The LA Times has reported that many of the weapons are coming in from South and Central America. With the report today of the association of Hezballah and the criminal insurgents it is possible that they are bringing in weapons from the Triborder area and with their association with Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.

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