MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A Pharr man was sentenced to prison, and two remain wanted, in connection to a firearm trafficking conspiracy, federal authorities announced.
On July 12, 2022, Christopher Tijerina, 20, pleaded guilty to being a leader/organizer in the conspiracy to obtain firearms that would then be exported to Mexico, a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated.
According to the release, Tijerina was sentenced Thursday to six and a half years in federal prison for his role in the conspiracy.
Between Jan. 31 and Feb. 9, 2022, co-conspirators successfully purchased 13 firearms. Six of which were 7.62mm AK-47 variant rifles, while there were five 7.62mm AK variant pistols, one .40 caliber pistol and one 9mm pistol, authorities said.
They also attempted to purchase three additional 7.62mm AK-47 variant rifles, but were unsuccessful, the release stated.
According to the release, Tijerina also admitted to recruiting 19 to 23-year-olds as co-conspirators who purchased firearms for him. Those co-conspirators were charged and sentenced to 70 months in federal prison.
The purchases were made from local federal firearms licensees (FFLs) located in Hidalgo County, Hamdani stated.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez ordered Tijerina to serve 78 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by a three-year-term of supervised release.
There are still two individuals wanted for their roles in the conspiracy.
Eduardo Guajardo, 26, a U.S. citizen believed to be residing in General Bravo, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, and Jesus Alexis Martine, 20, of Edinburg, are both considered fugitives in the case and warrants remain outstanding for their arrests, federal authorities said.
Anyone with information regarding their whereabouts is asked to contact the U.S. Marshals Service Enforcement Office at (956) 558-6238.