A Brownsville man pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, records show.
U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez accepted the plea to one count of illegally being in possession of a firearm from Alberto De Leon during a hearing Monday morning, records show.
De Leon, 26, was arrested in May in connection with a federal investigation into the purchase of multiple firearms in what was believed to be a straw-purchase scheme.
In late April, federal agents observed a woman, later identified as 21-year-old Crystal Reynaga, leaving a federally licensed dealer, specifically Danny’s Pawn Shop in McAllen, after she paid $1,500 for a “five-seven” pistol, the complaint against De Leon read.
Reynaga, after leaving the area, arrived at a fast food restaurant and met with a man later identified as De Leon.
Agents then observed as De Leon entered Reynaga’s vehicle; and subsequently the pair traveled to a residence in the 2800 block of Elena Street in Brownsville.
Once at the residence, De Leon was then observed with the same brown paper bag Reynaga had in her possession when she left with the pistol.
“Agents approached De Leon and identified themselves,” the document read. “De Leon walked over to agents, still carrying the brown paper bag. De Leon admitted to the agents that he was a convicted felon who was prohibited from possessing firearms.”
Court records show De Leon was convicted of felony possession of a controlled substance in November 2012.
“De Leon admitted to knowing he was carrying the firearm but claimed that he was not the owner,” the complaint read. “De Leon stated that Reynaga was the owner of the firearm but that he was merely carrying it for her.”
Reynaga and another woman, Theresa Luna, 34, both of Brownsville, were subsequently indicted and charged in connection with the purchase of the firearm.
Reynaga is due in court for sentencing Oct. 22, records show. She pleaded guilty to one count of firearms penalties in connection with the case, Aug. 1, records show.
Luna, charged with three counts of importing, manufacturing firearms, is due back before the court for a final pretrial hearing Oct. 31. She remains free on a $40,000 bond, records show.
De Leon, who remains in custody, is due back before the court Jan. 8 for his sentencing hearing, records show.