Mexican weapons smuggler sentenced to four years in federal prison

A federal judge sentenced a Mexican weapons smuggler to four years behind bars this week for sending AR-15 parts and accessories across the border.

U.S. District Judge Randy Crane handed down the punishment Tuesday, seven months after 52-year-old Alejandro Cavazos plead guilty to smuggling firearm parts kits, components, receivers and magazines into Mexico. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors agreed to reduce the final offense level of the charge, according to a report from The Monitor.

Cavazos first attracted attention from federal authorities when he bought more than $100,000 worth of parts from internet-based vendors, including AR-15 kits and unfinished AR-15 lower receivers. In total, Cavazos took possession of approximately 248 shipments of firearm parts over a two year period beginning in June 2014.

Federal agents took Cavazos into custody in October after witnessing him retrieve 13 packages containing 100 AR-type charging handles, 30 AR-15 lower receivers, 25 AR-15 7.62 x 39 mm magazines, 18 AR-15 assembly kits and 200 detachable AR-15 carry handles from a reshipment company in Hidalgo, near the Texas-Mexico border. Homeland Security Investigations special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement apprehended Cavazos in a hotel parking lot as he unloaded the packages from his van onto a luggage cart.

Cavazos reportedly admitted the packages were his and bound for Mexico, according to The Monitor. Most court documents pertaining to the case remain sealed.

The U.S. Attorneys Office of the Southern District of Texas said Tuesday Cavazos will face deportation proceedings following his release.