Mexico allows extradition of alleged members of ring that smuggled “large amounts” of U.S. guns into their country
EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Mexico has allowed the extradition of two of its citizens to face firearms charges in U.S. Federal Court in El Paso.
The request stems from a federal investigation into a group of individuals allegedly responsible for unlawfully exporting large numbers of firearms from the United States to Mexico between June 2017 and March 2018, the Department of Justice said in a news release Tuesday.
The suspects are Maria Crisol Zuniga Alvarado, 40, and Carlos Antonio Torres Sandoval, 42.
The Office of International Affairs (OIA) worked with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas to prepare a formal extradition request that was presented to Mexican authorities on November 9, 2020. Sandoval and Alvarado were arrested pursuant to that extradition request, the DOJ said.
Alvarado and Sandoval are charged with one count of conspiracy to smuggle goods from the United States and one count of smuggling goods from the United States and aiding and abetting such activity.
Sandoval also is charged with one count of making a false statement during a firearm acquisition and aiding and abetting such activity.
On March 8, 2022, Alvarado was detained without bond. Sandoval is scheduled for an arraignment and detention hearing this week before U.S. Magistrate Judge Miguel A. Torres of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.
If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of five years in prison on the conspiracy to smuggle charge and a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison on the smuggling charge.
Sandoval faces an additional maximum sentence of 10 years in prison on the false statement charge.