MCALLEN, Texas – A South Texas man who claimed to have been a U.S Navy Seal has been accused of running a large gun running group that also manufactured hundreds of firearms for Mexican cartels.
The accusations against accused gun runner Jose Guadalupe De Leon come after more than three years of investigation into illegal gun purchases and gun smuggling which included a Dallas area gun manufacturing group whose members have not been charged in the matter, court records obtained by Breitbart Texas show.
The investigation into De Leon began on January 2011 when U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge seized a shipment of 15 rifles that had been hidden inside the gas tank of a truck.
Agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives traced the weapons to a Dallas man who had sold the weapons to De Leon at a gun show just days before. The two men then met several other times to exchange firearms.
The Dallas man was identified in court records only as MSH and in one transaction recruited various individuals to illegally purchase more than 100 rifle receivers which De Leon then took to two other men who manufactured the rifles which .
Since mid-2010 De Leon and his group purchased more than 644 weapon and parts. ATF agents went to various local gun dealers who identified a man known in court records only as GBL who worked with De Leon and MSH. When agents looked into GBL, they learned that he had purchased more than 109 weapons and parts since 2009.
As part of the investigation, agents raided the home of a third man called RLS on July 2011 where they seized 39 assault rifles and close to 30,000 ammunition rounds. The home doubled as a makeshift weapons manufacturing plant where the gun parts were assembled into AK-47’s and AR-15’s. RLS told the agents that De Leon had told him that the guns were destined for ranchers in South Texas, court records show.
During interviews with agents both GBL and RLS said that De Leon had claimed to have been a former Navy Seal who provided weapons training to ranchers in South Texas and that he worked as a computer tech for the “State Department of Education”, court records obtained by Breitbart Texas show. The two men also told agents that De Leon claimed to have ties to the U.S. Border Patrol and their tactical team, the ties were not specified in court records nor did agents specify if the claims were true.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Ormsby recently ordered that De Leon be held without bond pending trial which is set to take place in Dallas. Federal agents recently arrested De Leon in McAllen and had him go through his initial and detention hearing locally before his extradition.
Follow Ildefonso Ortiz on Twitter @ildefonsoortiz.