Eugene man sentenced in conspiracy to buy firearms in Oregon to smuggle to Mexico
EUGENE, Ore. – A Eugene man who walked into a gun dealer and paid $38,100 cash for 14 firearms - including three .50 caliber rifles - was buying the weapons as part of a conspiracy to illegally purchases guns and smuggle them to Mexico, the U.S. Attorney for Oregon said.
Judge Ann Aiken sentenced Robert Allen Cummins, 57, of Eugene on Tuesday to 40 months in prison for his role in the conspiracy.
Cummins was accused of buying firearms that were later smuggled to Mexico, including those .50 caliber rifles purchased from an Oregon City gun dealer.
Two of those .50 caliber rifles and other firearms purchased in Oregon were seized less than 30 days later by the Mexican military, prosecutors said.
The weapons were found in a tractor trailer in San Luis Rio de Colorado, Sonora, Mexico.
Many of the firearms were missing serial numbers. They were found along with more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition, magazines and other items wrapped in plastic among bales of alfalfa hay, prosecutors said.
That seizure started the year-long investigation that led to indictments for Cummins and Erik Flores Elortegui of Beaverton.
The two were indicted in September 2015, accused of "straw purchasing" - a term for buying firearms for another person - $70,000 worth of firearms.
“Making false statements during a firearms purchase and straw purchasing firearms are serious offenses that increase the likelihood of weapons reaching the hands of violent criminals,” said Billy J. Williams, United States Attorney for the District of Oregon. “Those who seek to buy or sell firearms illegally in Oregon or elsewhere will be held accountable for their actions.”
According to the indictment, people involved in the conspiracy deposited tens of thousands of dollars near the U.S./Mexico border to bank accounts associated with Elortegui.
The money was used to "straw purchase" $70,000 in high-caliber firearms, including .50 caliber and AK-47 type rifles, according to the indictment.
Once released from prison, Cummins will be on supervised release for three years and will be prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition, prosecutors said.