46-month sentence handed down in ammo smuggling case

McALLEN — A man who attempted to smuggle several hundreds of rounds of ammunition into Mexico faced his punishment Tuesday during a sentencing hearing.

U.S. District Judge Randy Crane sentenced Luis Arnoldo Curiel-Treviño to a 46-month prison sentence for his role in a July 2019 attempt to enter into Mexico with 800 rounds of ammunition, court records show.

The 58-year-old man was arrested July 17, 2019, at the Hidalgo port of entry as he attempted to cross into Mexico and after he was referred for a secondary inspection by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the port.

During the secondary inspection, CBP officers found 700 rounds of “38 super ammunition,” and 100 rounds of “45 auto ammunition” hidden within Curiel’s vehicle.

Curiel, who was placed in custody and interviewed, told federal agents he was recruited by an unknown man in Mexico for the purposes of smuggling illicit drugs into the United States from Mexico.

He told agents he received the money to purchase the ammunition and what ammunition to buy while in the U.S.

“(Curiel) stated (he) had previously purchased ammunition for the unnamed co-conspirator in Mexico on at least two occasions,” the complaint against Curiel read.

Curiel, who has been in custody since his July 2019 arrest, pleaded guilty to one count of smuggling goods into the U.S. in October 2019, records show.

Curiel does not have legal status to remain in the country and will likely be deported upon completion of his prison term.

lzazueta@themonitor.com