Yesterday, in federal court in St. Paul, a 30-year-old Minneapolis man pleaded guilty to smuggling AK-47 components to Paraguay. Fabian Patricio Lojano-Lojano pleaded guilty to one count of smuggling goods from the United States. Lojano-Lojano, who was charged on October 12, 2011, entered his plea before U.S. District Court Judge Richard H. Kyle.
In his plea agreement, Lojano-Lojano admitted that on June 23, 2010, he dropped off a package at a United Parcel Service (“UPS”) station in Minneapolis. Lojano-Lojano said the package contained T-shirts, but in actually it contained parts for AK-47 rifles. On July 1, 2010, UPS received additional packages from Lojano-Lojano. The destination addresses on those packages were the same as the previous package, in Paraguay, although, in this instance, Lojano-Lojano used a false name and return address on the packages. These packages also contained parts for six AK-47 rifles. In all, Lojano-Lojano admitted sending packages to the same individuals in Paraguay on 46 prior occasions between September of 2009 and June of 2010. At least ten firearms were ultimately provided to the addressee in Paraguay through this process. On May 18, 2011, authorities executed a search warrant at Lojano-Lojano’s residence and seized two boxes containing M4 and AK-47 parts and accessories.
For his crime, Lojano-Lojano faces a potential maximum penalty of ten years in prison. Judge Kyle will determine his sentence at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled. This case is the result of an investigation by ATF, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven L. Schleicher and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Colin P. Johnson.