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Published: August 19, 2022, 4:44 PM
HOUSTON – The 18th member of a trafficking cell responsible for sending hundreds of firearms to transnational criminal organizations in Mexico has been ordered to federal prison for his role in the scheme, U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery announced Friday.
Guillermo Gomez-Lazcano, 26, a Mexican national who illegally resided in Houston, pleaded guilty April 6 to being an alien in possession of a firearm, possessing a machine gun and participating in a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance.
On Friday, U.S. Circuit Judge Gregg Costa ordered Gomez-Lazcano to serve a total of 200 months in federal prison. Because he is not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face removal proceedings following his imprisonment.
Gomez-Lazcano is the son of Gustavo Gomez-Valenzuela, the leader of the gun trafficking organization that was unlawfully exporting firearms to Mexico. Gomez-Valenzuela had pleaded guilty to eight counts related to the scheme, admitting to providing funds to purchase hundreds of firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition, smuggling both firearms and ammunition to Mexico, possessing firearms and selling kilogram quantities of meth.
Co-conspirators purchased firearms from Khalid Abdulaziz, the owner and manager of Zeroed In Armory to send to Gomez-Valenzuela. While acting in the capacity of a federal firearms licensee in Houston, Abdulaziz sold the majority of the firearms to others in the cell. Several have also pleaded guilty, admitted to making false statements in the purchase of firearms.
As a result of the scheme, they purchased approximately 500 firearms which were ultimately trafficked to transnational criminal organizations in Mexico. To date, authorities have recovered over 60 firearms in Mexico, the majority of which were being used in acts of violence.
Gomez-Lazcano will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Abdulaziz, 34, Manvel, and Gomez-Valenzuela, 49 and illegally residing in Houston, were sentenced to 10 and 30 years in prison, respectively. Other prison sentences have ranged from 18 months to more than 10 years.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Stabe and Lisa M. Collins prosecuted the case.
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