Two more sentenced in grenade launcher conspiracy

Two more defendants convicted of participating in a conspiracy to acquire semi-automatic rifles and a grenade launcher with plans to smuggle the weapons into Mexico were sentenced to prison Wednesday afternoon.

Jorge Cortez-Trujillo, also known as “Patrullero,” of Mexico and Jose Luis Mendez of Los Fresnos appeared before U.S. District Judge Rolando Olvera on Wednesday for sentencing.

Mendez pleaded guilty to straw purchasing a firearm on May 10 and was sentenced to one year in prison, and Cortez-Trujillo, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to receive and possess a destructive device, was sentenced to five years in prison, court documents show.

The men are accused with San Juan resident Dulce Maria Rippstine, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to smuggle munitions Dec. 7; Juan Martin Segura-Olvera of Mexico; and Oscar Freddy Garcia, also known as “Pollo,” of Los Fresnos.

All five suspects have pleaded guilty to their roles. Garcia has been sentenced already to five years in prison and Segura-Olvera is awaiting sentencing, records show.

The quintet was indicted in March on multiple charges relating to a conspiracy to acquire a grenade launcher and six semi-automatic weapons.