U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez sentenced a former San Juan weapons dealer to five years in federal prison on Thursday for selling semi-automatic rifles to a straw purchaser ” who was actually an undercover agent.
A jury convicted Crystal Espinoza, 31, of San Juan on May 15, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney TMs Office for the Southern District of Texas. On Thursday, the judge sentenced Espinoza to five years in federal prison and three years probation.
Espinoza was a manager at Brothers N Arms, a gun shop in San Juan.
Agents with Homeland Security Investigations, a division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, tracked several weapons recovered in Mexico to the Brothers N Arms gun shop, according to the news release.
Undercover agents purchased four semi-automatic rifles from Espinoza during October 2013.
The undercover agents didn TMt have proper identification and Espinoza knew they weren TMt the actual buyers, according to the news release.
At trial, a co-conspirator testified that Espinoza sold him 20 to 30 firearms during a five-month period.
The co-conspirator testified that Espinoza knew that the firearms were destined to be exported into Mexico, according to the news release. And that the true purchasers of the firearms were members of the Gulf Cartel.