Sunday, January 1, 2012

AZMEX EXTRA 31-12-11


Note: Unusual for someone to actually get the ten.

Leader of weapons purchasing ring to spend 10 years in prison
December 30, 2011 9:00 PM
Ildefonso Ortiz, Twitter: @ildefonsoortiz

McALLEN — A restaurant owner will spend 10 years in prison for his
leadership role in a ring that illegally bought firearms by using
intermediaries in a practice called straw purchasing. The ring is
responsible for purchasing 39 firearms some of which had had the
serial numbers filed off.

Chief U.S. District Ricardo Hinojosa sentenced Manuel Tijerina-
Herrera,48, to three five-year terms in prison for making false
statements in the purchase of firearms and five years for conspiracy
to make false statements, in addition to a 10-year sentence for
possession of an unregistered silencer. The terms are set to run

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
began investigating Tijerina-Herrera in 2008 after four co-defendants
fell onto the agency's radar for suspicious purchases.

Once in custody they each told authorities that they had bought the
weapons for Tijerina-Herrera and had taken them to his restaurant in
McAllen called El Tiburon. In March 2010, agents followed another
buyer to another of Tijerina-Herrera's businesses, where they saw
them transfer the weapons to his car. A search of Tijerina-Herrera's
home also turned up a 9mm Beretta with a silencer.

A federal jury convicted Tijerina-Herrera in September 2011 after a
three-day trial.

Ildefonso Ortiz covers law enforcement and general assignments for
The Monitor. He can be reached at at 956-683-4437

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