Arizona authorities help take down prolific firearms trafficker

May 25, 2023, 8:00 PM

(Pixabay Photo)...

(Pixabay Photo)

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX — Multiple Arizona agencies recently helped Mexican law enforcement put a significant firearms trafficker behind bars.

Michel Bacasegua-Barriga was arrested last week by Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office, according to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona.

Bacasegua-Barriga was allegedly the leader of a transnational firearms trafficking organization that operated along the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Sonora, authorities said. The arrest also resulted in the seizure of firearms and ammunition.

Homeland Security Investigations agencies in Tucson and Casa Grande, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Phoenix and the Arizona Department of Public Safety helped Nogales law enforcement agencies with the investigation that led to the arrest of Bacasegua-Barriga, according to the release.

“I would like to commend our law enforcement partners, both here in the United States and in the Republic of Mexico, for their hard work on this investigation,” U.S. Attorney Gary Restaino said in the release.

“Stopping the flow of American firearms to Mexican drug-trafficking organizations will help break the cycle of violence, death and destabilization. This joint investigation between our two countries demonstrates how much we can achieve together for our mutual benefit.”

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona in Tucson is also prosecuting four coordinators and operators that are based in the U.S. who had alleged ties to the firearms trafficking organization, authorities said.

The four men were indicted by a federal grand jury in December 2022.

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Arizona authorities help take down prolific firearms trafficker