Arizona teens sentenced for attempting to smuggle AK-47-style rifles across border

Aug 8, 2023, 10:17 AM | Updated: 10:18 am

Photo of gavel....

Destiney Rae Montoya, 22, was sentenced to a year in prison for her role as a social media recruiter for human smuggling. (Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — Two Arizona teens are going to federal prison for attempting to smuggle AK-47-style rifles from the United States to Mexico, authorities announced Monday.

A U.S. District Court judge in Tucson sentenced Michael De Jesus Guzman of Rio Rico to 18 months, and Joshua Francisco Mendes of Tucson to 12 months and one day, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona.

The men, both 19 years old, will each have three years of supervised release after serving their time behind bars.

Guzman was sentenced June 21 and Mendez was sentenced July 26. The teens previously pleaded guilty to smuggling goods from the United States.

In June of 2022, Guzman and Mendez tried to leave the United States and enter Mexico through the pedestrian gate at the DeConcini Port of Entry in Nogales, according to prosecutors.

Customs and Border Protection officers found four AK-47-style rifles taped to their bodies in a search at a secondary inspection. Two Romarms WASR-10 rifles, one Century Arms VSKA rifle and a Century Arms BFT rifle were in their possession.

Exporting these particular rifles requires a valid license.

Neither teen had the credentials or any lawful authority to export the firearms into Mexico, prosecutors said.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Mugshot of Leonardo Santiago, who has been accused of first-degree murder in two Phoenix cases....

Suspect in brutal murder/mutilation case implicated in another Phoenix homicide

One of the suspects in the murder and mutilation of a gay man at a Phoenix park has been implicated in a second homicide case, authorities said.

57 minutes ago

Cactus Park Precinct...

Escaped prisoner caught by citizens at Phoenix gas station

An escaped prisoner was caught by citizens at a Phoenix gas station Thursday night shortly after he fled from a detention center.

3 hours ago

no motor vehicles sign near arizona border...

Arizona’s Sinema says Lukeville Port of Entry closure ‘unacceptable,’ unsure when it will reopen

The Lukeville Port of Entry has been closed for five days with no end in sight, a situation Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona says is "unacceptable."

6 hours ago

(Photo provided by Evolve Public Relations and Marketing.)...

Google Fiber internet service is slated for Queen Creek in early 2025

Queen Creek is set to become the third community in Arizona to get Google Fiber - a high-speed internet service provided by Google.

6 hours ago

No freeway closures are scheduled in metro Phoenix the rest of the year. (ADOT Photo)...

No weekend closures scheduled on metro Phoenix freeways through end of year

State transportation officials have no scheduled closures on metro Phoenix freeways through the end of the year.

6 hours ago

Buckeye Police Chief Larry Hall....

Buckeye Police Chief Larry Hall to retire after 10 years on the job

After 10 years on the job, Buckeye Police Chief Larry Hall is planning to retire in January.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(KTAR News Graphic)...

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Follow @KTAR923...

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Follow @KTAR923...

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Arizona teens sentenced for attempting to smuggle AK-47-style rifles across border