Man accused of selling rifle, pistols to undercover agent faces federal charges - Brownsville Herald: Valley

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Man accused of selling rifle, pistols to undercover agent faces federal charges

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Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2019 5:11 pm

McALLEN — A man who allegedly sold firearms to a federal agent posing as a man who wanted to smuggle weapons into Mexico faces federal weapons charges, court records show.

Saul De La Garza will remain in custody after a detention hearing Tuesday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Juan F. Alanis. The case is related to his late June arrest on federal firearms charges.

De La Garza was arrested June 27, after federal agents engaged the man in negotiations for the sale of weapons that were ultimately destined for Mexico.

Three days earlier, De La Garza communicated with a U.S. Homeland Security Investigations agent who was working undercover and sent him a photograph message depicting a rifle described as an AR-15.

During this messaging, De La Garza discussed the sale of the rifle with the undercover agent.

The following day, the undercover agent messaged De La Garza that he would be traveling to Mexico to get the money to purchase the rifle. De La Garza asked the undercover if he also wanted to buy two additional pistols.

“The (undercover agent) and De La Garza negotiated the terms of the sale and the (undercover agent) agreed to purchase the AR-15 style rifle and two pistols after the money to purchase the firearms was brought from Mexico,” the complaint read.

On June 27, the undercover agent and De La Garza discussed the rifle, which was ready to be picked up and sold, but conveyed to the undercover agent that the two pistols were not yet available.

Shortly thereafter, the two men met in Pharr and the undercover agent was sold the AR-15 rifle.

Later that day, the undercover agent once again contacted De La Garza and conveyed to him that the AR-15 rifle had been successfully smuggled into Mexico.

De La Garza said he would pick up the two pistols that had been previously discussed from another man who was not identified.

He said he would meet the undercover agent later to sell him the two pistols.

“The (undercover agent) told De La Garza that the (undercover agent) would need to find a driver to transport the firearms into Mexico before the (undercover agent) would purchase the firearms,” the document read.

Later that day, De La Garza sold the aforementioned pistols and two “selector switches,” the complaint read.

De La Garza made his initial appearance in federal court on July 24, records show.

During his bond hearing Tuesday afternoon, the government announced it had no intention to oppose a bond for De La Garza; which resulted in the court granting him a $75,000 bond, court records show.

De La Garza, who was appointed attorney Richard Gould from the U.S. federal defender’s office, will be restricted from travel and be relegated to the McAllen district.

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