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....

(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

A damaged saguaro cactus stands with a recently fallen arm resting on the sidewalk on Aug. 2, 2023,...

Associated Press

Arizona’s biggest city has driest monsoon season since weather service began record-keeping in 1895

After a summer of extreme heat, Arizona’s most populous city is in the record books again. This time Phoenix is notching a record for dry heat.

20 minutes ago

King Ranch Goodyear...

Brandon Gray

Harvard Investments acquires master-planned King Ranch community land in Goodyear for $22M

Real estate investment and development company Harvard Investments announced Friday it acquired the master-planned King Ranch community in Goodyear. 

1 hour ago

File photo of a Mesa Police patrol vehicle. A man was killed in a shooting involving Mesa officers ...

Mesa police pursuit ends with suspect being seriously injured in Tempe

A 21-year-old suspect was seriously injured after being involved in a critical incident with Mesa police Saturday night near a Tempe intersection, according to officials. 

5 hours ago

D1Training athletes...

Former youth coaches bring open group fitness to Mesa with D1Training franchise

On Oct. 9, D1Training will have a new franchise in East Mesa near Crismon Road and Southern Avenue led by two former youth coaches.

9 hours ago

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)...

Kim Komando

Shopping under surveillance: How retailers track you & how to be invisible

If you have a pulse and an internet connection, companies want all the details they can get on what you’re willing to buy — and it’s getting harder to tell where they’re getting all that info.

10 hours ago


Jamaican cuisine comes to West Valley with Ocho Rios Jerk Spot

Family-owned Ocho Rios Jerk Spot, featuring Jamaican cuisine and music, opened a West Valley location Saturday in Goodyear, 13291 W. McDowell Rd.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.



Importance of AC maintenance after Arizona’s excruciating heat wave

An air conditioning unit in Phoenix is vital to living a comfortable life inside, away from triple-digit heat.



Here are the biggest tips to keep your AC bill low this summer

PHOENIX — In Arizona during the summer, having a working air conditioning unit is not just a pleasure, but a necessity. No one wants to walk from their sweltering car just to continue to be hot in their home. As the triple digits hit around the Valley and are here to stay, your AC bill […]

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