U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Government Website

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Safely connect using HTTPS

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
  2. News Room
  3. A Mexican Resident Pleaded Guilty for Trying to Smuggle Ammunition and Firearms Back to Mexico

HSI Rio Grande Valley, Federal Partner Investigation Results in the Guilty Plea of a Mexican Resident for Trying to Smuggle Ammunition and Firearms Back to Mexico

Release Date: March 29, 2024

MCALLEN, Texas –A Mexican resident pleaded guilty to attempting to smuggle multiple firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in a vehicle roof rack following an investigation by Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) in conjunction with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Jose De Jesus Pena Dieguez, 67, from Guadalajara, Mexico, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Chief Judge Randy Crane, who accepted his plea.

“Dieguez potentially put lives at risk for his own personal gain, intending to profit by selling firearms illegally smuggled out of the United States,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Alamdar Hamdani. “These crimes not only affect our residents, but they also endanger innocent Mexican citizens. It’s an international issue, and we remain relentless in our efforts to bring safety and security in taking these traffickers off the streets. Put simply, try to take guns to Mexico and you will pay for it with your freedom.”

According to court documents, on Jan. 11, Dieguez attempted to enter Mexico through the Progreso Port of Entry in a Nissan Xterra. Upon inspection, authorities noticed tampering of the screws on a compartment connected to the vehicle's roof rack. An X-ray examination also showed anomalies within the compartment. A subsequent search revealed 16 firearms, 31 firearm magazines, assorted firearm parts and 800 rounds of ammunition.

Dieguez admitted he purchased the firearms and intended to illegally export them to Mexico.

Chief Judge Randy Crane will impose sentencing June 11. At that time, Dieguez faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

He remains in custody pending that hearing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Cahal P. McColgan, Southern District of Texas, is prosecuting the case.

Last Updated: 04/22/2024
Was this page helpful?
This page was not helpful because the content