LAREDO, Texas (AP) — A South Texas man has been sentenced to more than four years in prison for buying guns in Laredo intended for use in Mexico.
A federal judge Monday sentenced 37-year-old Silverio Venegas (ven-AY'-gus) of Rio Bravo to three concurrent terms in prison for buying the three weapons in Laredo in late 2011.
One, an AR-15 pistol, was found shortly after it was bought at the sight of a shootout between gunmen and Mexican soldiers in Nuevo Laredo. One soldier and four gunmen were killed.
An AR-15 rifle and AK-47 rifle were found at a crime scene in Saltillo, Mexico. Venegas had pleaded guilty to falsely claiming that the guns he was buying were for him. Guns are often purchased in the U.S. by "straw buyers" and later smuggled to Mexico.