BROWNSVILLE — The son of infamous Mexican drug lord Osiel Cardenas pleaded guilty Wednesday to attempting to slip military-grade ammunition past U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Brownsville and into Matamoros, Mexico.
Osiel Cardenas Jr., 23, also known as “Mini Osiel,” pleaded guilty in federal court to trying to export on December 31, 2014, several hundred rounds of of rifle bullets to Mexico in a black 2015 Cadillac Escalade, including 290 rounds of 9mm ammunition and 161 rounds of .223mm ammunition.
In addition, authorities found 29 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition and a pair of .233mm rifle magazines, which are designated as defense articles on the U.S. Munitions List. Cardenas Jr. also had more than 14 grams of marijuana hidden in his underwear.
Ammunition and firearms are highly valued by organized crime groups, but mostly illegal for citizens in Mexico to possess. Texas, with its many gun stores, has proved a source of illegal weapons funneled to Mexico.
Cardenas Jr., who is a U.S. citizen, had pleaded not guilty last week. He made no comments Wednesday during the proceeding before U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen. His sentencing is scheduled for May at which time he faces up to 10 years in prison.
His father, Osiel Cardenas Guillen, 47, was convicted in 2009 on drug trafficking and money laundering charges and was the former leader of the Gulf Cartel.