Former gun shop owner sentenced to prison for smuggling ammunition to Mexico
POSTED: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 11:00pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 11:09pm
LAREDO, TX — Robert Jacaman Sr., 60, former owner of Jacaman Guns and Ammo, has received his federal sentence for conspiring to smuggle firearm ammunition and magazines to Mexico, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson along with Special Agent in Charge Janice Ayala of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in San Antonio and Special Agent in Charge Robert Elder of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Jacaman pleaded guilty Jan. 28, 2014. Now a convicted felon, he surrendered his federal firearms license, is no longer a firearms dealer and is prohibited from possessing firearms, ammunition and destructive devices.
“Today’s sentence is a direct result of the dedicated efforts of HSI, the U.S. Attorney's Office and our law enforcement partners in creating a safer community for the citizens of Laredo and the surrounding area,” said Ayala. “Seizing illicit weapons and proceeds, and arresting those who attempt to illegally use and smuggle weaponry is a priority for HSI.”
Visiting U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison handed Jacaman a total sentence of 60 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. He was further ordered to pay a $4,000 fine. At the hearing, Jacaman testified that he is currently blind and in constant physical pain due to a motorcycle injury in 1984 and requires around-the-clock attention. In handing down the sentence, Judge Ellison noted Jacaman had those ailments when he committed the crime and, although sympathetic to his ailments, believed the Bureau of Prisons could accommodate someone with his medical conditions.
“Enforcing the federal firearms laws through a cooperative effort with ATF Industry Operations, as well as Laredo Police Department and Border Patrol is paramount to our Frontline Strategy of utilizing our resources to have the greatest impact,” said Elder. “While 99% of federal firearms licensees abide by ATF regulations, it is paramount that we remain vigilant against the outlier who markets firearms illegally."
Jacaman had admitted to unlawfully conspiring with others to fraudulently and knowingly export .223 caliber and 7.62 mm ammunition and high capacity rifle magazines designed to fit AR 15-type and AK47-type firearms, contrary to the Arms Export Control Act. Several violations Jacaman committed as part of the conspiracy were discussed with federal U.S. Magistrate Judge Diana Song Quiroga, who presided over the guilty plea in January.
Jacaman admitted being in direct contact with Oswaldo Roberto Borrego-Ramos, 32, aka “Baldo,” of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, during the conspiracy, who negotiated the purchase and delivery of the ammunition and firearm magazines with Jacaman. Borrego-Ramos would then send couriers to deliver cash to Jacaman and others to pick up the items to smuggle them into Mexico. In one instance, Jacaman even advised Borrego-Ramos of an outstanding balance which he had not paid for prior sales.
Another co-defendant, Alejandro Rivera-Ruiz, 39, of Laredo, admitted delivering more than $100,000 to Jacaman on behalf of Borrego-Ramos. According to court documents, Borrego-Ramos told agents he was working for “Los Zetas” Mexican criminal organization, supplying them with firearms, ammunition and firearm accessories such as firearm magazines from various sources, including Jacaman.
On March 14, 2012, authorities arrested Mexican nationals Abraham Garcia-Perguero, 41, and Maria Isabel Rodriguez-Olivio 38, who had just received 27,000 rounds of .223 caliber ammunition from Jacaman’s gun store. They admitted they were on their way to deliver the ammunition to an awaiting Mexican truck driver who would smuggle the ammunition to Mexico. They admitted working for Rivera-Ruiz and Borrego-Ramos.
Borrego-Ramos, Rivera-Ruiz and the two Mexican Nationals have all pleaded guilty and are serving their sentences in federal prison for their respective crimes.
Also sentenced today were Atanacio “None” Gonzalez-Torres, 45, Jose Luis Estrada, 25, who had all also pleaded guilty for their roles in this conspiracy. Jacaman’s wife, Veronica Jacaman, 43, who was convicted of the misdemeanor offense of failure to record a firearm transaction by a firearms dealer, will serve six months and pay a $1,000 fine, while Gonzalez-Torres and Estrada were ordered to serve 28 and 21 months, respectively for their conviction of smuggling goods from the U.S.
The ammunition and magazines referenced in this indictment were intercepted before being delivered to Mexico.
Jacaman, his wife and Estrada were permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) with the assistance of the Laredo Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Jose Homero Ramirez is prosecuting this case.