McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — A 19-year-old from the border town of Edinburg has pleaded guilty to smuggling AK-47 rifle parts from South Texas into Mexico, U.S. Attorney Alamdar Hamdani said Tuesday.
Pete Deshaewn Maldonado-Guillen pleaded guilty to attempting to export five AK-47 rifle barrels into Reynosa, Mexico from Hidalgo, Texas, without a license or approval, Hamdani said.
Maldanado-Guillen traveled south from the McAllen-Hidalgo International Bridge on Feb. 14 and Mexican officials found the weapon parts upon further inspection, and denied him entry into Mexico. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found five rifle barrels smuggled into a quarter-panel area of his vehicle, Hamdani said.
He is to be sentenced on July 13 by Chief U.S. District Judge Randy Crane of the Southern District of Texas in McAllen. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
AK-47 rifles are listed under the U.S. Munitions List as defense technology that is restricted for export under the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, which requires that shipments sent to other nations from the United States must be certified that the weapons will be used for internal security and legitimate self-defense, and that their use does not lead to an escalation of conflict.