More punishments handed down in gun case

Group from Brownsville conspired to lie on firearms forms

Two more people implicated in a firearm violations case were sentenced for their role in the conspiracy, records show.

A court sentenced James Robinson, 29, and Theresa Luna, 35, both of Brownsville, to 37 months in federal prison and two years of probation respectively, for their roles in a scheme to lie on federal firearms forms in an attempt to purchase firearms, records show.

Robinson and Luna appeared for their respective sentencing hearings Wednesday related to a superseding indictment on a case from Sept. 2019.

The two joined two others to already be sentenced in connection with the case, Stephanie Shuler, 29, and Crystal Reynaga, 22, also both of Brownsville, each were sentenced in August of this year. Both Shuler and Reynaga each received probation, Shuler, a 3-year probation period, and Reynaga was sentenced to 2 years of probation.

A fifth man, Alberto De Leon, 27, from Brownsville, pleaded guilty earlier this year and faces sentencing on Jan. 20, 2021, for his role in the scheme.

The group was implicated in a superseding indictment in Sept. 2019 related to the illegal purchase of several firearms in the Rio Grande Valley during a period of time beginning in March and April, and ending in November of that year.

According to court records, the group participated in a scheme to obtain firearms from licensed dealers through straw purchase.

The indictment states beginning on March 25, 2019, and ending roughly in late April of that year, De Leon and Robinson in collaboration with Luna, Reynaga, on different instances illegally obtained firearms by lying on federal forms.

In the first alleged incident in March, Reynaga filled out a firearms form at a licensed dealer in Pharr in an effort to obtain a Beretta pistol for De Leon, stating she was the actual buyer of the firearm, the documents show.

According to the indictment, in every instance involving Luna, Reynaga, and Shuler, the statements made on the federal forms were made “intended and likely to deceive,” the dealer of the intended actual buyer of the firearms.

Only a few days later on March 30, 2019, De Leon and Robinson had Luna lie on the form in order to buy a small-caliber pistol from the same dealer in Pharr, the record shows.

Robinson and De Leon once again, on April 4, and April 10, worked with Luna to have her lie on the form in order to purchase a semi-automatic pistol. On April 12, De Leon conspired with Luna to make another purchase at the Pharr, Texas dealer.

Then again on April 29, 2019, De Leon had Reynaga lie on a form at a firearms dealer in McAllen for the purchase of a semi-automatic pistol.

Shuler was implicated for her role after she lied on a federal firearm form on Nov. 3, 2018, stating that she was purchasing a .50 caliber rifle on behalf of her employer, Dr. Ben White, when “in truth and in fact,” the statements she made were false.

As part of the case, the government also requests to seize the six firearms.