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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Monday, March 20, 2023

Texas Man Charged with Trafficking Weapon Used in the Matamoros Kidnapping of 4 Americans

"Socalj" for Borderland Beat

A man who admitted buying firearms he knew would go from the United States to a drug cartel in Mexico has been arrested in Texas after one of the weapons was found to be linked to the recent kidnapping of four Americans, according to court documents.

Roberto Lugardo Moreno had an initial appearance Monday in federal court in Brownsville and was assigned a public defender, who did not immediately respond to a voicemail message left seeking comment. His detention hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

According to a federal complaint filed Saturday, Lugardo Moreno was charged with conspiring to illegally export a firearm. The complaint states that he admitted to buying firearms for people he knew were going to turn them over to a member of the Gulf Cartel in Mexico.

The serial number on a firearm he purchased in October 2019 matches that of a gun recovered by authorities that were linked to the March 3 kidnappings and killings, according to the complaint. Lugardo Moreno said he did not apply for a license to export the firearm from the United States to Mexico and knew it would be exported illegally, according to the complaint.

Lugardo Moreno told authorities that he received $100 for purchasing the firearms.

The kidnapping occurred in Matamoros, Mexico, which borders Brownsville. The four friends who traveled to Mexico for plastic surgery were caught up in a shootout by gunmen from the Gulf Cartel, part of Grupo Escorpiones, in Matamoros. After a vehicle crashed into their van, men in tactical vests with semi-automatic rifles arrived in another vehicle and surrounded them, firing on the rented minivan.

Shaeed Woodard and Zindell Brown died instantly and their bodies were loaded into a truck with the two survivors, Eric Williams and Latavia McGee. Days later, the two bodies and the two surviving friends were found in a wooden shack. The alleged perpetrators were then handed over to police after the incident received international attention and the FBI began investigating the shootout and kidnapping. 

Weapons Given Up

Alongside the gunmen, who were bound and tied together was a narco-manta apologizing for the killings and kidnapping of the Americans. Next to the manta were several weapons, likely those used in the killings. The guns were then processed and at least one was linked to this gun sale in Texas.

Multiple tactical vests and ammunition magazines littered the street next to the five gunmen. Based on photos taken at the time, three guns are visible. The weapons include a pistol, a  long rifle and a shorter AR-15 style pistol. 

It was that ‘Diamondback DB15 AR-15 Pistol’ that Roberto had purchased in 2019 knowing that it would be sent to Mexico to help arm the cartels. On March 14, Homeland Security Investigators in Harlingen learned that the same AR-style pistol had been recovered by Mexican authorities and linked to the murders and kidnappings of U.S. citizens on March 3 in Matamoros.

It is not known yet if this weapon had killed one or both of the two American victims, as well as a female bystander.


  1. Que pendejo este vato, $100 dollars? and he didnt remove serial numbers?? Wow.

    1. Maybe he did, we dont know and because you cant see the serial numbers anymore doesnt mean forensics cant see them.

  2. Great đź‘Ť catch in the gun trafficker case.
    We all know guns going to Mexico is to kill other people. Then we have Lopez Obrador crying it's the manufacturer that brings guns to Mexico.

  3. Lopez obrador will come down as one of Mexico's worst president especially having bad relations with the USA don't bite the hand that feeds you.

    1. You know not what you speak of. Did you vote in Mexico?

  4. My how fast the wheels of justice turn.

  5. Now the people will get rid of any evidence tied to U.S citizens and the dead if it happens in Mexico. Sometimes it's better not to say everything that you have found.

  6. Texas man with the usual and interesting last name. Must be the US fault.


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