Arizona teens sentenced for attempting to smuggle AK-47-style rifles across border
Aug 8, 2023, 10:17 AM | Updated: 10:18 am
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.