LUBBOCK, Texas — A Texas border man who smuggled grenade launchers for drug cartels has been sentenced to more than 6 years in prison. On Monday evening in McAllen, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez sentenced 27-year-old Erik Perez Bazan to 75 months in prison and a three year term of supervised release.
Late last month Perez had pleaded guilty to smuggling grenade launchers, barrels and other weapons into Mexico for approximately five or six years.
Court records obtained by Breitbart Texas show that on January 2013, federal agents stopped Perez at an international bridge where agents with Homeland Security Investigations questioned him. During the interview the South Texas man told agents that he would recruit individuals to help buy and export the parts for the 40 mm grenade launchers that he got for individuals in Mexico.
As Breitbart Texas has previously reported, the area south of the Rio Grande Valley is the scene of regular cartel shootouts where gunmen not only use automatic weapons but also grenades and other pieces of military equipment.
“This sentencing sends a clear message to individuals who purchase, transport or facilitate the attempted smuggling of weapons, ammunition and other related items,” said HSI Special Agent in Charge for the San Antonio Division. “Preventing these items from being acquired from or delivered to the wrong hands is a top priority for HSI. We will continue working with our domestic and international law enforcement partners in this effort.”
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