A Houston-area couple has been charged with smuggling arms to Colombia, and a whole lot of weaponry was seized.
Federal agents arrested Patrick Regan, 40, and his wife Ximena del Pilar Echeverry Aria, 25, who was a Colombian native, on Tuesday, prosecutors announced today.
"Firearms trafficking empowers terrorists, insurgents and violent gangs to murder, intimidate and control law-abiding people in many countries, including our closest democratic neighbors and friends in North, Central and South America," U.S. Attorney Jose Angel Moreno. "We must and will do everything in our collective power to deny firearms to those who use them to destroy innocent human life and to undermine democratic governance itself. This investigation shows how, through interagency and international coordination, we can begin to regain control over what has become an international problem."
What were the goods on offer? Let's look at a list of stuff either sent and intercepted or seized from their home:
-- Eight Fabrique-Nationale Herstal, model Five-seven, 5.7 x 28mm caliber pistols
-- Eight Double Star, model STAR-15, 5.56mm caliber complete lower receivers. ("Lower receivers are components of AR-15 style semi-automatic rifles which are similar in appearance to the U.S. military's M-4 rifle," prosecutors say.)
-- Three Rock River Arms, model LAR-15, 5.56mm caliber lower receivers.
-- Fifteen Surplus Ammo & Arms, model LOW15, 5.56mm caliber lower receivers
-- Fifty additional lower and 13 upper receivers for AR-15 style semi-automatic rifles
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-- An unregistered fully assembled short-barrel AR-15 rifle, two pieces of metal working machinery
-- An unregistered fully assembled short-barrel AR-15 rifle
-- At his home: 13 more AR-15 style lower receivers in various stages of manufacture.
"The complaints further allege that records obtained during the investigation showed Arias, while living in Colombia, had allegedly signed for 12 of the 67 similarly suspicious packages addressed to her home and wire-transferred more than $39,000 from a bank in Colombia to Regan's account in the United States over the course of multiple transactions," prosecutors say.