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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
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  3. Jacksonville Gun Smugglers Sentenced to Combined 12 Years in Prison

Jacksonville Gun Smugglers Sentenced to Combined 12 Years in Prison

Release Date: May 13, 2024

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A joint investigation into two Jacksonville men has led to a pair of convictions for illegally smuggling firearms from the United States to Venezuela.

Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan sentenced Antonio Jose Melean Reyes, 29, and Gabriel Daniel Pinnace, 32, both of Jacksonville, to six years each in federal prison for smuggling firearms outside of the United States. Reyes pleaded guilty Jan. 3 to smuggling firearms from the United States and conspiring to use a facility of interstate commerce in the commission of murder for hire. Pinnace pleaded guilty Jan. 17 to smuggling firearms from the United States and knowingly making a materially false statement during the purchase of a firearm.

According to court documents, Reyes and Pinnace attempted to smuggle three firearms and 57 rounds of ammunition from Jacksonville to Venezuela May 15, 2021. Prior to that date, Reyes enlisted Pinnace to purchase the firearms from federally licensed firearms dealers with knowledge that the firearms would be sent to Venezuela. Pinnace purchased the firearms after falsifying ATF Form 4473, which is required for all firearms purchases. After purchasing the firearms, Pinnace attempted to destroy the serial numbers on the firearms and provided them to Reyes, who then concealed the firearms and ammunition in a futon that he attempted to mail using a freight forwarding service.

Special agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Miami seized the three firearms, which included a Glock 17 pistol and two Smith and Wesson M&P 15 rifles May 22, 2021. Forensic technicians at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) traced the firearms back to Pinnace. On May 24, 2021, after learning law enforcement had seized the firearms, Pinnace reported the firearms as stolen.

Following Reyes’s arrest on unrelated state charges Aug. 11, 2023, federal agents from the ATF, HSI and U.S. Customs and Border Protection found evidence of a murder for hire plot. Reyes had asked Pinnace to hire a hit man for $15,000. Federal agents intervened and arrested Reyes on a criminal complaint.

This case was investigated by HSI Jacksonville and HSI Miami, the ATF, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aakash Singh.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: Fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Last Updated: 05/13/2024
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