Texas gun smuggler pleads guilty

A 27-year-old Texas man plead guilty Tuesday for his role in a gun smuggling ring last year.

Juan Diego Madrid, of Laredo, was indicted in January for selling more than three dozen semiautomatic rifles — reminiscent of models including the AR-15, AK-47, Beretta 92FS and DPMS AR — to fellow defendant Erik Villasana between March and November 2016. The cache of rifles was bound for Mexico, according to court documents.

Madrid, a convicted felon, recruited four other men — including two of his brothers — to buy the rifles at federally-licensed dealers in Laredo and San Antonio.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of smuggling, conspiracy and illegal possession of a firearm. The latter charges carry a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Madrid will be sentenced at a later date, according to the Department of Justice.