LAREDO, Texas – A federal grand jury sitting in Laredo has charged a U.S. citizen who resides in Mexico under the Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act for trafficking handguns into Mexico, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
The Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act is part of the broader Safer Communities Act, passed June 25. Said Isaac Hernandez, age 25, is the first person believed to be indicted under the new law.
The charges allege that on July 11, authorities apprehended Hernandez as he was traveling south on U.S. Interstate 35 towards the port of entry in Laredo. At the time of his arrest, they allegedly discovered 17 firearms hidden in his car.
Hernandez had been the subject of an investigation related to the purchasing of a large number of firearms then transporting them to Mexico, according to the charges. Between Jan. 21, 2020, and July 11, 2022, Hernandez allegedly purchased a total of 231 handguns in calibers of 9mm, .380 and .22.
If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.
The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Makens is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.