A Texas couple is accused of illegally buying high-dollar rifles for someone in Mexico, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.
Francisco Sevilla-Alvarez and Perla Franco-Hernandez are charged with making false statements to a gun dealer and purchasing firearms for another individual.
Sevilla-Alvarez and Franco-Hernandez, who are married, live near the U.S.-Mexico border in Presidio, but bought the firearms from a dealer in Mineral Wells, according to the court document.
Sevilla-Alvarez is a legal permanent resident and Franco-Hernandez is a naturalized U.S. citizen, the documents say.
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In October, the couple went to the dealer to purchase a $9,100 rifle, a $9,000 rifle, a $14,000 rifle and a $12,750 rifle with a silencer. Franco-Hernandez filled out the paperwork because Sevilla-Alvarez couldn’t pass the background check. He had been denied the first time they tried to buy a firearm, the document says.
Because of their high value, the dealer didn’t have the rifles in stock and placed an order for the couple after they paid.
Sevilla-Alvarez and Franco Hernandez returned on Oct. 31 to retrieve one of the rifles and were both approached by investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
During an interview with the ATF, Franco-Hernandez said that someone in Mexico gave them money to make the purchases.
On four occasions, bags of money were left around Presidio for her to pickup. Her husband would tell her where to retrieve them. On other occasions, Sevilla-Alvarez said he would leave his vehicle unlocked and someone would leave cash in it, the court document says.
The document didn’t say who would leave the cash for them.
Once they had the rifles, Sevilla-Alvarez planned to contact the person in Mexico. He’d then drop the rifles in predetermined locations in Presidio to be picked up and taken into Mexico, the document says.
Sevilla-Alvarez said that they dropped a rifle off in Presidio at least once, the document says.