Two get prison in firearms case

December 3, 2008 7:06:18 AM PST
An El Paso man and a Mexican national must serve more than three years in prison in a firearms smuggling investigation. The U.S. Attorney's Office on Tuesday announced the sentences for 32-year-old John Avelar and 33-year-old Jonatan Lopez-Gutierrez of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

Both were arrested last March. Agents said they found several assault-type firearms concealed in roofing materials in the van Lopez-Gutierrez was attempting to drive into Mexico.

Avelar and Lopez-Gutierrez in September pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide false statements during the purchase of firearms and conspiracy to smuggle goods from the U.S.

Avelar was sentenced to 37 months in prison, while Lopez-Gutierrez received a four-year term.

Both admitted participating in a scheme to buy firearms from licensed dealers in El Paso, then smuggle them into Mexico for sale.

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