MCALLEN, Texas – A father and son involved in making false statements on ATF forms 4473 in the acquisition of firearms from federal firearms licensees (FFL) will now be serving prison terms, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Heriberto Caballero Jr., 28, and Heriberto Gutierrez Caballero Sr., 47, both of Weslaco, Texas, pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements in the acquisition of firearms from FFLs, commonly referred to as straw purchasing, on Jan. 5, 2012, and March 5, 2012, respectively.
Today, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane sentenced Caballero Jr. and Sr. to 46 and 37 months in federal prison, respectively, each to be followed by a three-year-term of supervised release. The guideline range for sentencing was enhanced as it was determined they had been involved not only in the trafficking of firearms, but that they should have had reason to believe the firearms were going to be used or possessed in connection with another felony offense, specifically the unlawful export of the firearms to Mexico.
ATF agents began their investigation after receiving multiple sales reports for handguns purchased by both of the Caballeros men. Caballero Jr. admitted to straw purchasing six firearms and recruiting his father, Caballero Sr., who purchased seven firearms.
At sentencing, Caballero Sr. was held responsible for purchasing the seven firearms while Caballero Jr. was held responsible for 13 firearms since he recruited his father and was, therefore, responsible for all of their purchases.
Both defendants have been on detained since the time of their arrest where they will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The investigation was conducted by the ATF and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Steven Schammel.