Yadira Garcia, 35, has been ordered to prison following her six counts of conviction for making false statements on firearm records, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson along with Robert W. Elder, special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). A federal jury convicted Garcia, of Alamo, July 22, following two days of trial and approximately 30 minutes of deliberation.
Today, U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen, who presided over the trial, sentenced Garcia to 18 months in federal prison for each count to run concurrently. She will also serve three years of supervised release following completion of the prison term.
At trial, the jury heard that in August 2013, Garcia purchased five assault rifles over a six-day period from two federally licensed firearms dealers located in Harlingen and McAllen and paid more than $5,000 in cash. Within the same week, Garcia attempted to buy two more rifles and was denied sale due to the suspicion of straw purchasing the firearms.
In connection with the purchases, Garcia executed three different Firearms Transaction Records (4473 Forms) which must be filled out when a person purchases a firearm from a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL). On all three forms, Garcia certified she was the actual buyer and provided an address in Pharr.
Garcia admitted to agents that she purchased the rifles and claimed she had done so using bingo winnings. However, Garcia gave inconsistent statements regarding the whereabouts of those firearms. She initially claimed they were with a relative, then changed her story and indicated they were stashed with a friend whose name, location and contact information she could not provide. Garcia purchased three AR-15 and two AK-47 style rifles, considered “weapons of choice” by drug trafficking organizations in Mexico. One of the AK-47s was recovered by Mexican law enforcement in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico on Aug. 27, 2013, only 20 days after she had Garcia purchased it. Garcia admitted she lied about her current residence address on her signed 4473 forms.
Garcia was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to the U.S. Marshals Service next month.
ATF investigated. Assistant United States Attorneys David A. Lindenmuth and Carrie Wirsing are prosecuting the case.