February 26, 2024

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Houstonians sent to prison for illegal firearms purchases | USAO-SDTX

HOUSTON – Four men and women have been sentenced for illegally purchasing weapons for other folks aka straw getting, declared U.S. Legal professional Jennifer B. Lowery.

Maribel Santana-Cerano, 45, Ariceli Santana, 47, Carlos Joel Hernandez, 26, and Johnny Talavera, 28, all of Houston, pleaded guilty in 2021.

Now, U.S. District Decide Lynn N. Hughes imposed the statutory greatest 120-thirty day period time period of imprisonment for Santana-Cerano. Santana and Talavera obtained sentences of 12 months and a working day, when Hernandez was requested to provide six months. In imposing the sentence for Santana-Cerano, the courtroom mentioned her role in the plan, the quantity of firearms attributed to her and her knowledge of the trafficking plan amid other factors that warranted her utmost sentence. In handing down the prison conditions, Choose Hughes observed the effect these firearms would have on American and Mexican lives. 

The investigation commenced July 31, 2018. At that time, Santana-Cerano was a passenger on a bus headed to Mexico. Authorities carried out an X-ray inspection which exposed 34 pistols and 31 publications within black baggage. Santana-Cerano denied the luggage was hers but shown suspicious conduct.  

Upon further investigation, law enforcement was able to trace firearms purchases from several federally-certified firearms dealers to Santana-Cerano, Santana, Hernandez and Talavera. Authorities also retrieved falsely represented ATF 4473 types that each and every had completed. The files claimed they had been the purchasers of the firearms when, in fact, they have been not.  

On her to return to the United States and arrest, Santana-Cerano admitted to straw getting firearms for an person residing in Mexico. She would then store and accumulate the firearms at her residence in advance of their transport into Mexico. She also reported that her sister, Santana, acquired more firearms for her. Santana said each individual personal was provided cash and directed to obtain particular firearms.

The team was eventually held responsible for the illegal acquire of 82 firearms that were being destined for Mexico. 

Straw buying takes place when anyone professes to be purchasing a firearm for on their own, when in actuality, they supply it to somebody else, usually not lawfully able to do it them selves.

Santana-Cerano was taken into custody at the summary of her sentencing listening to, whilst the many others were being permitted to keep on being on bond pending dates to surrender in the around long term.

The Bureau of Alcoholic beverages, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Lawyer Steven Schammel prosecuted the case.