Filed Under:  Gun Trafficking, Zeta Cartel

Seized guns were bound for Zetas

February 10th 2012   ·   4 Comments

My San Antonio News

Authorities said Wednesday that in breaking up a San Antonio-based smuggling ring that funneled guns to the Zetas drug cartel across the border from Eagle Pass and Del Rio, they seized 203 weapons but were unable to stop every shipment.

Officers said they confiscated mostly assault-style rifles and one .50-caliber Barrett sniper rifle in five separate shipments between May and August 2010. But they said they also learned that three other shipments with an unknown number of weapons made it to Mexico before they started investigating.

They arrested 22 defendants — all from the San Antonio area — accused in the smuggling, nine of whom have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from one year to 14.

The defendants include eight housewives, authorities said. One defendant recruited his mother as a “straw buyer” and his aunt to be a transporter, said Crisanto Perez, assistant special agent in charge of the ATF in San Antonio.

Authorities said the smuggling organization was led by Marino Castro Jr., 27, and Edward Levar Davis, 33. Davis was sentenced to 14 years in prison for his role. Castro is awaiting sentencing in Del Rio.

The announcement came a day after Keith Edwards, 23, was sentenced in Del Rio to 87 months and Ricky Gonzales, 22, got 42 months.

It was made by U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman and his prosecutors, joined by agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firerams and Explosives, U.S.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.

“What we’re talking about today really is just a part of the larger cycle of corruption of society by the illegal drug market,” Pitman said. “These prosecutions are meant to hold those responsible for putting … firearms in the hands of violent drug traffickers accountable for the part that they play.”

The case began when ATF agents received a tip that one of the defendants was acting as a straw buyer of firearms from licensed gun dealers here for shipment to Mexico.

A straw purchaser is a U.S. citizen with a clean background who generally is paid to lie on sales paperwork to buy guns for someone else.

Buyers were paid $100 to $200 for each gun, which typically retail for $800 to $1,400, depending on the manufacturer.

Jerry Robinette, special agent in charge of ICE-Homeland Security Investigations in San Antonio, described the licensed gun dealers as “our eyes and ears” who cooperate with law enforcement in such cases.

The tip grew into four separate investigations, and agents connected their leads to the same cell. They said the case wasn’t connected to this week’s arrest of 13 others suspected of providing tactical rifles to the Zetas.

The ATF’s Perez warned the public to be aware that the criminal element is recruiting younger people. Half of the defendants in the Castro-Davis case were between the ages of 22 and 25.

“One hundred dollars to buy a gun for someone is not worth ruining your life,” Perez said. “You will be investigated, you will be arrested and you will be prosecuted.

Related Posts:

Tags:  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Readers Comments (4)

  1. They all deserve hard time if not life. I’m sure there will be many people who will lose their lives because of these money hungry criminals. I am beginning to wonder if Washington D.C. even cares at all.

  2. Dave Lawson says:

    I’m wondering why you are wondering, they’ve been going out of their way to make it obvious for years! They don’t care – at all, unless they think you owe them money.

  3. Which one is going to sell them back to them???????

  4. Chuck Owens says:

    Well hell give them to holder and he will get them there no problem.

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

What is 3 + 14 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)


There may be graphic photographs that accompany some articles in the body of this report. It is not our intention to sensationalize. We include these photos in order to give to you, the American public, a clearer understanding of the seriousness of the situation we are in.


Why do you think the drug cartels are more violent in Mexico than the U.S.A.

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...


Opinions expressed by contributing writers are expressly their own and may or may not represent the opinions of The US Open Borders, its editorial staff, board or organization. Reprint inquiries should be directed to the author of the article. Contact the editor for a link request to The US Open Borders. The US Open Borders is not affiliated with any mainstream media organizations. The US Open Borders is not supported by any political organization. The US Open Borders is a non-profit, non-partisan research and educational initiative. Responsibility for the accuracy of cited content is expressly that of the contributing author. All original content offered by The US Open Borders is copyrighted. US Open Borders goal is the liberation of the American voter from partisan politics and special interests in government through the primary-source, fact-based education of the American people.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance a more in-depth understanding of critical issues facing the world. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 USC Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.