Eagle Pass officer pleads guilty over stolen rifle

February 28, 2013 4:36:40 AM PST
A police officer in a Texas border city faces up to 10 years in prison for having a stolen rifle.

Prosecutors in Del Rio say Eagle Pass Officer Eriberto Leija pleaded guilty Wednesday to possession of a stolen firearm. Police didn't immediately comment Thursday about whether Leija, who's free on bond pending sentencing, remains an officer.

Investigators say Leija last July found the rifle in a vacant lot after a drive-by shooting. Prosecutors say Leija photographed the firearm, sent the picture to a co-worker and offered to sell the rifle for $500.

Leija then initiated a federal database search that indicated the weapon was stolen. Leija later denied having the rifle, falsely said the weapon was in Mexico and the search was meant to help a Mexican officer.

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