Mexican citizen sentenced to six years for smuggling firearms out of the United States | USAO-NM

           ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Genovevo Alvarez-Ronquillo, 55, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, was sentenced to six and a half years in prison on Oct. 13 for fraudulently purchasing firearms in the United States and smuggling them to Mexico for resale. In December 2019, a federal jury returned a guilty verdict against Alvarez-Ronquillo, a citizen of Mexico with legal residence in the United States.          

           On March 6, 2019, the owner of a Las Cruces pawnshop alerted agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that Alvarez-Ronquillo recently had purchased multiple firearms. Records showed that Alvarez-Ronquillo crossed the border near the dates of those transactions. Records recovered from two pawnshops in Las Cruces revealed that Alvarez-Ronquillo had purchased 33 firearms between June 21, 2018, and Feb. 26, 2019.

           On March 18, 2019, agents learned that Alvarez-Ronquillo had purchased nine more firearms, but had to wait for background approval before taking possession. On March 22, Alvarez-Ronquillo returned to the business to collect the firearms. Agents arrived to question Alvarez-Ronquillo and arrested him later that day.

           Upon completion of his prison sentence, Alvarez-Ronquillo will be subject to two years of supervised release. However, the court has recommended that Immigration and Customs Enforcement begin removal proceedings during the service of his sentence.

           The ATF investigated this case in conjunction with Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ry Ellison and Maria Armijo prosecuted the case.

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