A local gun store owner and his wife were arrested Monday, August 20, 2012, after an 11-count federal indictment charged them with illegally selling firearms and ammunition they knew were destined for Mexico, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas. This investigation is being led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Robert Jacaman Sr. and his wife, Veronica Jacaman, were arrested Aug. 20 at their residence without incident. The couple is expected to make their initial appearances Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Diana Song Quiroga, at which time the United States will seek their continued detention pending further criminal proceedings.
During the enforcement action on Monday, August 20, special agents executed search warrants at the couple’s residence and businesses, Jacaman Guns and Ammo at 504 E. Calton Road in Laredo, and A-Frame 4 You, which is adjacent to the gun store.
“Today’s arrests demonstrate our ongoing commitment to identifying and arresting anyone who smuggles firearms or ammunition into Mexico,” said Jerry Robinette, special agent in charge of HSI San Antonio. “HSI investigates and dismantles organizations that smuggle firearms and ammunition to organized criminals in Mexico.”
According to court documents, the sealed indictment returned Aug. 14 was automatically unsealed following the the arrests of Aug. 20 arrests by HSI and ATF officers with the assistance of local law enforcement. The 11-count indictment charges the Jacamans with conspiring to provide and providing ammunition and firearm magazines for smuggling into Mexico, selling ammunition to illegal aliens and to a convicted felon, and selling an assault rifle to a convicted felon.
The investigation revealed that from about January to July 2012 the Jacamans allegedly conspired with each other to acquire large quantities of ammunition and high-capacity firearms magazines for sale and delivery to others knowing they were intended to be illegally exported to Mexico. Both are also charged with four counts of illegally selling ammunition, and one count of illegally selling a firearm to a prohibited person. Specifically, the indictment alleges that the Jacamans unlawfully sold the following items:
- thousands of rounds of .223-caliber ammunition to an illegal alien,
- 1,000 rounds of .223-caliber and 1,000 rounds of 7.62x39mm ammunition to an alien admitted into the United States under a non-immigrant visa,
- two instances of selling hundreds of rounds of .223-caliber ammunition to a convicted felon, and
- a CMMG, Model 4SA, semi-automatic rifle to a convicted felon.
Included in the indictment are also two charges of illegally exporting ammunition and three counts of illegally exporting firearm magazines to include more than 10,000 rounds of 7.62x39mm, 28,000 rounds of .223-caliber ammunition, and 788 high-capacity assault-rifle magazines. The indictment charges the Jacamans with facilitating the sale of such items knowing they were intended to be illegally exported Mexico.
Law enforcement intercepted all firearms, ammunition and magazines referenced in the indictment before they could be delivered to Mexico.
If convicted of the conspiracy charge, the Jacamans each face up to five years in prison, and a maximum of 10 years in prison for each count of illegal sale and illegal export. All charges also carry a possible fine of up to $250,000 on each count.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Homero Ramirez, Southern District of Texas is prosecuting the case.
One of HSI’s top priorities is dismantling organizations involved in smuggling firearms to Mexican drug cartels. The collective expertise and authorities of our law enforcement partners during this investigation significantly contributed to preventing hundreds of rifles and handguns from reaching violent criminal organizations and pursuing prosecution for those charged.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.