U.S. Border Agent Accused of Gun Smuggling Ordered Detained

Wednesday, 11 Apr 2012 06:18 AM


  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

By Robert Gray

EL PASO, Texas, April 10 (Reuters) - A U.S. Border Patrol agent, accused of buying guns in the United States and smuggling them to Mexico for use by drug cartels, must remain in jail pending a detention hearing later this week, a U.S. Magistrate Judge ruled on Tuesday.

Ricardo Montalvo, 28, and his girlfriend Carla Gonzales-Ortiz, 29, briefly appeared in court for the first time since their arrest on Monday. They are charged with conspiracy to buy firearms and more than 20,000 rounds of ammunition to be smuggled into Mexico.

They are accused of acting as "straw purchasers" of at least nine firearms between November 2010 and January 2011. Straw purchasers say they are purchasing weapons for themselves but conceal the true buyer.

A grand jury indictment accuses Montalvo and Gonzales-Ortiz of purchasing guns, including five AK-47-type pistols, two .380-caliber pistols, and two .22-caliber rifles. The guns are favored by Mexican drug cartels, the indictment says.

The pair are accused of purchasing more than 20,000 rounds of ammunition, 97 high-capacity magazines and four 37mm flair guns, which are sought by Mexican cartels for conversion into grenade launchers, the indictment says.

The indictment does not say if the weapons were actually smuggled into Mexico. Montalvo, who is based in El Paso, Texas, had been on administrative desk duty since January 2011 when the investigation started.

Mexican cartels rely on purchases of firearms in the United States and the Mexican government has often complained about the smuggling across the border.

The arrest of Montalvo and Gonzales-Ortiz came only days after three men pleaded guilty to charges of trafficking high-powered rifles and other guns to Mexico from Arizona under the botched "Fast and Furious" federal sting operation.

Republicans have criticized President Barack Obama's administration for allowing the Fast and Furious program - under which a government agency permitted weapons smuggling across the border in order to try to nab the criminals in a sting operation.

The failed operation embarrassed the administration and led to some calls for Attorney General Eric Holder to resign.

Montalvo and Gonzales-Ortiz will be arraigned at a hearing on Friday, said Terri Abernathy, senior litigation counsel. (Editing by Greg McCune and Lisa Shumaker)

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Krauthammer: GOP Must Push Its Agenda After Taking Senate

Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 22:07 PM

Republicans have 3-1 odds of taking over the Senate, and they need to use that power to push their agenda, conservative  . . .

Wyoming Gay Couples Get Marriage Licenses

Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 22:03 PM

Wyoming has become the latest state to allow same-sex unions, bringing the wave of legalizations to a place where the 19 . . .

Alveda King: Obama Proves Skin-Color Voting Doesn't Help Blacks

Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 21:13 PM

Alveda King, niece of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., is at sharp odds with the Rev. Al Sharpton about which political  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved