BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A 39-year-old Harlingen resident has been found guilty of lying on a federal firearm application at a local Wal-Mart. The jury deliberated for 30 minutes before convicting Juan Sauceda following a one-day trial.
On Sept. 6, 2018, Sauceda attempted to purchase a 12-gauge pump shotgun at a Wal-Mart in Harlingen. As a part of the purchase, he was required to fill out ATF Form 4473 in order to complete a background check. He signed the form, attesting that he never had a felony conviction. However, the investigation revealed he had a conviction for two counts of assault and battery with a deadly weapon. Sauceda had stabbed two individuals in 2013 in a dispute in Custer County, Oklahoma.
The defense attempted to convince the jury Sauceda was too uneducated to understand the form when he made the false statement as to his criminal history. The jury was not persuaded and found him guilty as charged.
U.S. District Judge Rolando Olvera presided over the trial and has set sentencing for Sept. 18, 2019. At that time, Sauceda faces up to five years in prison and a possible $250,000 fine.
He was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation.