Saturday, June 7, 2014



McAllen man sentenced in gun, money trafficking scheme
Posted: Friday, June 6, 2014 8:11 pm
Karen Antonacci | The Monitor
Posted on Jun 6, 2014

A McAllen man was sentenced to more than eight years in prison Friday after pleading guilty to trafficking assault rifles from Houston to Mexico.

Angel Aquino-Pineda, 27, was sentenced to the weapons charges in U.S. District Court in Corpus Christi. He was driving a truck with 35 AK-47-style rifles and $26,000 in cash concealed in a false compartment through Kingsville in 2013 when he was pulled over for a traffic stop, a U.S. Attorney's Office news release said.

Authorities discovered the money and weapons, including seven rifles with filed down serial numbers.
The weapons were traced to a purchasing and trafficking ring run out of Houston, where buyers who could pass a background check purchased the weapons and handed them off to transporters who moved them to Mexico. So far, six people besides Aquino have pleaded guilty in the investigation and await sentencing, the news release said.

Aquino was sentenced to eight years and four months in prison after pleading guilty March 26.
When U.S. District Judge Hayden Head handed down Aquino's sentence, the judge expressed relief the weapons were found, calling them "weapons of war," the news release said.


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