MCALLEN, Texas – Federal authorities arrested an illegal alien from Matamoros accused of having his girlfriend buy him a gun since legally he could not own one.
Earlier this week, 23-year-old Juan Berrones went before U.S. District Judge Ignacio Torteya, who formally charged him with various accusations involving the conspiracy to purchase a firearm.
Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms tried to interview a Brownsville woman, Vanessa Casiano, at her home to ask her about a .40 caliber Ruger SR40 handgun that she had bought at a sporting goods store, according to court records obtained by Breitbart Texas.
The agents went to her parent’s home where they told the agents that she had bought the handgun for Berrones, her boyfriend. The parents told them they could find the woman at her workplace in a local rehabilitation clinic. At the clinic, the agents spoke with Casiano and she told them that she had in fact bought the handgun for her boyfriend at an Academy Sporting Goods store since he could not buy one because he was in the country illegally. Authorities refer to the practice of buying a gun for someone else as “straw purchasing”.
Berrones had told Casiano to always be with him when they transported the handgun so that if anyone asked them they would say the gun was hers, court records show. Soon after buying the gun the two went to a ranch where Berrones practiced shooting targets.
Agents found the handgun in Casiano’s apartment and then spoke with Berrones who told them that he was in fact the one that had made Casiano buy the gun. While authorities arrested Berrones and seized the handgun, records appear to show that Casiano was not charged for her role in the crime.