OKLAHOMA CITY – Two men have pled guilty to illegally purchasing semi-automatic rifles involved in a gun smuggling scheme that included a former Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics agent.
Gregorio Morales-Martinez, 34, of Lewisville, Texas, pled guilty to a conspiracy count alleging the illegal purchase of military type semi-automatic rifles in Oklahoma which were transferred to Texas, and a count alleging he caused another person to make a straw purchase of a military type rifle. Jorge Alexis Blanco, 25, of Stillwater, Oklahoma, also pled guilty to making a straw purchase of five military type semi-automatic rifles.
Some of the rifles were ultimately smuggled into Mexico.
According to court records, Morales-Martinez, an illegal alien from Texas, paid Francisco Javier Reyes, a former OBN agent from Oklahoma City,to buy firearms and paid Reyes a commission based on the number of guns he delivered.
Reyes bought some firearms himself, and also recruited and paid others, including Blanco, to go to gun stores to illegally purchase the firearms as straw buyers. Reyes instructed the straw buyers to go to several federal firearm licensed dealers located in Oklahoma City and Woodward, Oklahoma, to make the purchases and told them what firearms to buy.
Court records indicate that from March 2010 through July 2010, Reyes paid the straw buyers, including Blanco, to illegally purchase 34 separate firearms. Reyes also purchased an additional nine firearms himself.
The straw buyers and Reyes all falsified the ATF Form for these purchases by certifying they were the actual buyers of the firearms. The straw buyers delivered the guns to Reyes who, in turn, delivered the guns to Morales-Martinez in Texas where serial numbers from some of the firearms were removed to make them more difficult to trace.
Several of the firearms involved were recovered in Mexico or attempting to enter Mexico.
Morales-Martinez faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the two counts. Blanco faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing hearings will be set by the court in approximately 90 days.
In a related case, Francisco Javier Reyes pled guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of transferring firearms. Each felony charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison and a $50,000 fine.