GREENSBORO, N.C. -- On Tuesday, a U.S. Middle District federal judge sentenced a Winston-Salem to 13 1/2 years for gun smuggling.
U.S. Attorney Ripley Rand said Angel Medel Lorenzo, 56, was the leader of a smuggling
ring that funneled firearms and ammunition to Mexico from North Carolina.
Lorenzo pleaded guilty to conspiring to smuggle
firearms and firearm accessories to Mexico and possession of a firearm in a drug trafficking offense. In addition to his prison sentence, Lorenzo received five years of supervised probation when he is released.
From the U.S. Attorney's Office:
The investigation began on October 19, 2011, when federal agents with several agencies searched Lorenzo's home on Sprague Street in Winston-Slaem. Agents found multiple handguns, rifles, ammunition, cocaine, digital scales and rifle scopes.
In July 2012, a reliable FBI Confidential Informant provided information that Lorenzo was organizing a load of firearms to be smuggled into Mexico from Winston-Salem, according to information in a news release. Thereafter, law enforcement monitored a meeting between Medel Lorenzo, the CI, and other members of the smuggling conspiracy concerning the planned shipment of a 16-gun load of firearms to Guerrero, Mexico.
On July 24, 2012, authorities executed a federal search warrant at the residence of co-defendant Ramiro Alejandro Garcia Roman on East Sprague Street in Winston-Salem and recovered a shipment of 16 firearms, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and other firearms accessories wrapped in plastic and black electrical tape. The investigation revealed that Medel Lorenzo had been smuggling firearms to Mexico since February of 2011 and that he used his teenage children to assist in packaging the firearms for transport.
"The drug cartels of Mexico have
shown countless times they have very little regard for human life," said
Special Agent in Charge Brock D. Nicholson, head of U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Georgia
and the Carolinas. "Without question, the defendant was trying to get the
weapons and ammunition seized in this case into Mexico to be used by these same
cartel members. We are thankful for the help from the FBI, ATF, the
Winston-Salem Police Department and the U.S. Attorney's Office in putting a
dangerous man in prison and in stopping this smuggling scheme."