Two men from the Rio Grande Valley were sentenced earlier this week in connection with firearm violations, records show.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane sentenced Benny Guadalupe Garcia, 34, of Weslaco and Rodolfo Rodriguez Jr., 26, of Edinburg after they were each found in possession of firearms despite being prohibited from doing so.
Crane sentenced Garcia to 30 months in prison, while Rodriguez received a 70-month term, court records show.
Both will also be ordered to serve three years of supervised release following their sentences. At the hearing, the court noted the serious nature of the offense given both men’s criminal histories.
Specifically, Rodriguez has previous convictions for aggravated robbery stemming from two incidents in downtown McAllen as well as five vehicle burglary convictions, among others.
Garcia was previously convicted of several felonies, including two burglaries of a habitation as well as multiple assaults and possession of controlled substances, state records show.
In handing down the sentence, Crane noted both men’s involvement in gang activity and the serious nature of possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number, according to a news release from the Southern District of Texas U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“Removing guns from the hands of violent, multi-convicted felons remains the focus of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives,” ATF Special Agent in Charge Fred Milanowski, said as part of the release.
On Nov. 26, 2019, police officers near Edinburg had pulled a vehicle over for a traffic violation. Garcia was driving with Rodriguez as the front passenger. Upon searching the vehicle, authorities found a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun with an obliterated serial number and hollow-tip ammunition in the console.
As both men have previous felony convictions, they are prohibited by federal law of possessing firearms or ammunition.
They ultimately admitted to being felons in possession of the firearm found in the vehicle.
Both Garcia and Rodriguez each pleaded guilty to their respective charges in January of this year, records show.
Garcia and Rodriguez have been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future, the release states.