Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Friday, May 28, 2010

Marine Corp Reservist Caught Attempting To Export Assault Weapons.

Last week on the morning of Thursday, May 20, border patrol agents on duty near the south Texas brush country town of La Pryor encountered a pickup truck stopped on the side of the road due to mechanical problems. This area is approximately 50 miles from the border with Mexico.

Agents became suspicious after observing that the truck had sustained substantial damage, and the two occupants of the vehicle made conflicting statements.

A Border Patrol canine alerted agents to the rear of the pickup where weapons were found hidden inside a load of plywood in the bed of the truck.

The vehicle was transported to the Uvalde Border Patrol Station for intensive inspection. Agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to the Uvalde Station to launch an investigation.

Agents found 52 AR-15 assault rifles, 4 AK-47 assault rifles, 1 SKS rifle, 1 Ruger Mini-14 rifle, 1 FN Fal assault rifle and 49 high-capacity rifle magazines.

Soon after, the driver of the pickup, Cristobal Riojas, 29, a Marine Corp reservist and native of Dallas, Texas was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with unlawfully attempting to export firearms. If convicted, Riojas faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

Federal judge denies bond

A week later on Wednesday, May 26, Riojas appeared in federal court in Del Rio, Texas for a detention hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Victor R. Garcia.

Judge Garcia listened to testimony from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent Jose Mendoza, who reviewed Riojas’ detention by the Border Patrol and described a series of seven photos taken during the search of the truck Riojas was driving.

Some of the photos show the rifles and magazines, which were wrapped in green cellophane and stashed inside a compartment cut out of the load of plywood in the bed of the truck.

Mendoza, answering questions posed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Seal, also testified Riojas was arrested while he was a juvenile on state charges of burglary, criminal trespass and marijuana possession.

Cross-examined by Riojas’ attorney, Heather Fisher of Denton, Mendoza said Riojas readily provided agents with his driver’s license and his military identification showing that he is a member of the United States Marine Corps Reserves.

Mendoza said Riojas readily allowed the search of the truck, while a passenger, identified as Erika Amaya of Carrollton “lawyered up” – refused to talk to agents – and was later released.

Following the testimony, Seal argued that Riojas posed “a danger to the community.”

“A person who possesses 59 assault rifles in an illegal manner, that person poses a danger to the community,” he said. “These were not hunting weapons. . . (these types of) weapons are made for . . . the specific purpose of killing another person.”

Seal further argued that Riojas posed a special danger because he was allegedly trying to “transport those guns to Mexico,” into “an area filled with drug-related violence,” and charged that the weapons would eventually have been used to protect routes along which drugs are transported.

Fisher countered that Riojas is not a flight risk, pointing out to the court that he has not been to Mexico since he was 11 years old.

She asked that Riojas be released on a personal recognizance bond.

“We do not feel he is a danger, (and) the United States Marine Corps does not think so as well,” Fisher said. “(Riojas) is trusted by the government, and that should carry some weight.”

Immediately following the presentations by the two attorneys, Garcia ordered Riojas detained without bond pending trial and remanded him to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

(source material for this post was obtained from the Eagle Pass Chronicle and the Del Rio News Herald)


  1. Throw the book at him and his buddies-- this is a slander to all law abiding gun ouners in the U S

  2. Look at this! They blame immagrants for all the drug drama but what now American Government!! Look at this Marine Corp Res. bringing 59 assault rifles to Mexico what example does that give you.. Obviously this is to support the Drug War! The Drug Cartels wouldnt be so successful if they have Americans support them by buying the drugs bringing in weapons and money!

  3. Did he take the rifles from the goverment.

  4. “We do not feel he is a danger, (and) the United States Marine Corps does not think so as well,” Fisher said. “(Riojas) is trusted by the government, and that should carry some weight.”
    This guy was trying to smuggle all of these assault rifles across the border where people are getting killed everyday and they say he is no threat. Ha. Yeah right. Good job Border Patrol.

  5. “We do not feel he is a danger, (and) the United States Marine Corps does not think so as well,” Fisher said. Atty Fisher, first you are not the representative of the US Marines. Second, you can bet that he will be completely stripped of all connection to the Military PERIOD. The Armed Services does not condone illegal activity. You, obviously dont know anything about the military, and to entrust you with representing someone that obviously wants to make a buck. Your oversight is as bad as his. Do you know that your trying to allow more people like these to keep the terrorism going?


  6. Stupid Jar Head!!!! he should be hung to the largest extent!!! there is no excuse...I am a soldier too, and this is crap!!! what were you thinking marine?!!! you must have had family there to do some stupid crap like that....this makes me so angry....the military needs to do better in selecting their soldiers and sailers

  7. Anon #2 Nobody is blaming LEGAL immigrants from Mexico, who happen to be great contributers to the US. You sheep dip. Its the ILLEGALS that us gabachos are tired of. Immigrants are differnet than criminals who sneak into countries they are not citizens of.

    Now what part of ILLEGAL dont you understand?

    As for the topic. Should send this sad excuse for a Marine to GITMO for life (or a 9mm to the back of his head to save many years of tax money) for supporting the narco terrorists in Mexico.

  8. He was 50 miles from the border,
    Just as it isnt shoplifting till you leave the store.

  9. How the heck did "HE" buy all 50 guns...what happened to the NICS system...isn't it tracking who is buying what? There is something wrong when this happens...or did others buy them for him? All the guns can be traced to the sale point via ATBF paperwork and the shop needs to be nailed...

  10. Cristobal Riojas should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. This behavior causes the rest of law-abiding gun owners to look suspect. This criminal act will also fuel the anti-gunners in Washington D.C.. All of this
    violence is the result of the voracious appetite
    that some americans have for illicit drugs.

  11. to the "its not shoplifting till you leave the store poster"...dude...its shoplifting as soon as you stick it under your shirt or in your pants...seriously...throw the book at this guy.

  12. No puedesn dejar un trabajar bien,el chavalon fue al ejercito salio con nada y busco trabajo y se lo dieron este pedo nunca se va acabar ATT:CDS

  13. Kevin ,la ley es la ley no eres ratero hasta que sales de la tienda.
    el 90 % de las armas que los carteles y demas son vendidas en ESTADOS UNIDOS ,es parte del "negocio" de gente como tu ex presidente ,
    los gobiernos son los mas corruptos y muy buenos para senalar con el dedo,y joder a la ciudadania.lo siento por la gente joven.

  14. hang this bastard , and show it on mercy para esta pinche culero many people would have been killed by these guns?

  15. There isn't any place that money hasn't corrupted or held bad influence on. The more the amount of money the higher the influence and corruption to obtain it and live a life of luxury. This reservist wannabe Marine is not a true Marine and does not represent the Corps overall. He is slime and should do the time and when he is done them do some military time as well. Enjoy Leavenworth scumbag. To the person who asked if these were military rifles the answer is no. The military do not use AR-15's, only the police and citizens use those. In otherwords, these were not fully automatics but instead semi-autos but just as dangerous in the wrong hands.

    Yes, ATF will be able to track each and everyone of these rifles to the first dealer it went to after it left the factory. Then they can track the first buyer of each of the rifles. I live in Arizona and if I wanted to buy 59 AR-15's in one day I could. No law against it as long as I don't use them illegally or sell them illegally to somebody else such as staw purchasing them. I own two rifles, an AR-15 and an AK-47 so I don't have a need for 56 more only shoot them one at a time...


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