A Mexican national has been sentenced for his role in a conspiracy to acquire anti-aircraft missiles and machine guns and possession of methamphetamine, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service announced last week.
David Diaz-Sosa received 25 years in federal prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. Diaz-Sosa entered a guilty plea in 2011 to all four counts of the indictment: conspiracy to acquire and export an anti-aircraft missile, conspiracy to possess unregistered firearms and transfer firearms for use in a drug trafficking crime, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
"This sentencing was a result of a highly successful joint investigative effort by DCIS, [the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives], [the Drug Enforcement Administration] and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona,” said Janice Flores, Special Agent in Charge of the DCIS Southwest Field Office. “The DCIS is committed to protecting America from this type of activity, and this commitment combined with the courage and determination of the law enforcement agents involved preventing military-grade weapons, including anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons, from falling into the hands of a Mexican drug cartel.”
According to court documents, Diaz-Sosa began negotiating the purchase of military-grade weapons for the Sinaloa Drug Cartel in 2009. Around that time, Diaz-Sosa also arranged for the delivery of 4.5 pounds of methamphetamine to serve as a down payment for the weapons, DCIS said. Among the military-grade weapons that Diaz-Sosa negotiated to purchase were a Dragon Fire anti-tank weapon, a Stinger Missile, three cases of hand grenades and a .30 caliber machine gun.
“[ATF] remains steadfast on the front line of violent crime and committed to work with our law enforcement partners to disrupt criminal networks involved in the illegal trafficking and distribution of weapons and narcotics,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Thomas Atteberry. “Mexico-based criminal organizations and drug cartels continue to look toward the United States and in particular the Southwest Border States as a source of supply for firearms and in this case military grade weapons of war such as grenades, machine guns and Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS).”
The investigation was conducted by ATF, DEA and DCIS.