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DEL RIO, Texas — A Texas man was sentenced in a federal court to more than four years in prison with credit for time served for smuggling goods from the United States. The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Hugo Medina, 40, of Del Rio, was sentenced Aug. 1 to 57 months in prison.
“The sentencing sends a clear message to individuals who facilitate the illegal sale and movement of ammunition. Combating ammunition smuggling is a top priority for Homeland Security Investigations,” said HSI San Antonio Special Agent in Charge Craig Larrabee. “Through collaborative law enforcement with our federal, state and local partners, we aggressively investigate individuals involved in these activities to prevent the items from falling into the hands of transnational criminal organizations.”
According to court documents, Medina was selected for an inspection in the outbound lane of the Del Rio Port of Entry on Sept. 24, 2020. After he elected not to declare any weapons, ammunition, or currency over $10,000, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials found a black duffel bag containing small boxes in the trunk of Medina’s vehicle. The officers confirmed that the boxes contained ammunition and took Medina into custody.
Following a vehicle inspection scan, officers seized a total of 10,498 rounds of ammunition.
“Transporting ammunition into Mexico is a serious offense,” said U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas Jaime Esparza. “Along with our law enforcement partners, my office is committed to stopping the supply of dangerous weapons across the border into Mexico.”
Claudia Veronica Flores, who purchased the ammunition and arranged for it to be smuggled into Mexico, pleaded guilty on Aug. 15, 2022, to conspiracy to smuggle goods from the United States. Her sentencing hearing is currently scheduled for Dec. 4.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Izaak Bruce of the Western District of Texas prosecuted the case.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.
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