Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Texas/México: Texas Resident Pleads Guilty to Multiple Straw Purchases in ATF Case

According to The Latin American Tribune, Yadira García, 35, has been ordered to prison following her six-count conviction for making false statements on firearm records, announced US Attorney Kenneth Magidson along with Robert Elder, special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). A federal jury convicted García, of Alamo, TX on July 22, 2014, following two days of trial and approximately 30 minutes of deliberation.

US District Judge Andrew Hanen, who presided over the trial, sentenced García to 18 months in federal prison for each count to run concurrently. She will also serve three years of supervised release following completion of the prison term.

At trial, the jury heard that in August 2013, García purchased five assault rifles over a six-day period from two federally licensed firearms dealers located in Harlingen and McAllen and paid more than $5,000 in cash. Within the same week, García attempted to buy two more and was denied sale due to the suspicion of straw purchasing the firearms.

In connection with the purchases, García executed three different Firearms Transaction Records (4473 Forms) which must be filled out when a person purchases a firearm from a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL). On all three forms, García certified she was the actual buyer and provided an address in Pharr, TX.

COMMENT: García admitted to agents that she purchased the rifles and claimed she had done so using bingo winnings. However, García gave inconsistent statements regarding the whereabouts of those firearms.

She initially claimed they were with a relative, then changed her story and indicated they were stashed with a friend whose name, location and contact information she could not provide.

García purchased three AR-15 and two AK-47 assault rifles, considered “weapons of choice” by drug trafficking organizations in México.

One of the AKs was recovered by Mexican law enforcement in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, México on August 27, 2013, only 20 days after García purchased it. García admitted she lied about her current residence address on her signed 4473 forms.

García was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to the US Marshals Service next month.

ATF investigated. Assistant US Attorneys David A. Lindenmuth and Carrie Wirsing are prosecuting the case.

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