Man convicted of trying to smuggle guns into Mexico

McALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A Guadalajara resident has been sentenced after attempting to smuggle firearms and cartridges on the roof of a vehicle, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.

José De Jesus Pena Dieguez pleaded guilty on March 27. On Tuesday, Chief U.S. District Judge Randy Crane ordered Dieguez to serve two years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

On Jan. 11, Dieguez attempted to enter Mexico through the Progreso port of entry in a Nissan Xterra, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

During the inspection, authorities noted tampering with the screws of a compartment connected to the vehicle’s roof rack. Additionally, an X-ray showed abnormalities in the compartment, the release said.

Authorities found 16 firearms, 31 firearm magazines, assorted firearm parts and 800 rounds of ammunition.

According to the release, Dieguez admitted to authorities that he purchased the firearms and planned to export them illegally to Mexico.

“At the hearing, the court heard additional evidence that Dieguez had previously exported firearms to Mexico on multiple occasions,” said Alamdar S. Hamdani, United States Attorney.

Dieguez is awaiting transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons.