OK, only one of ’em is going to jail, the other walks with time served.
U.S. District Judge James Lorenz sentenced Andrew Reyes of La Mesa to one year and a day in custody, and Jaime Casillas was given credit for time served.
What’d they do?
Both pleaded guilty in January to one charge of dealing in firearms without a license. Reyes also pleaded guilty to three charges of unlicensed transportation of firearms.
Hmmm… not good. The guilty pleas suggest that they were up against some serious time, and they were.
Court records say Reyes sold an AK-47 rifle and three AR-15 rifles between September 2014 and March 2015 to an Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent working undercover and posing as a member of a Mexican drug cartel.
Casillas sold a .40-caliber pistol and an AR-15 to the agent in August and October 2014, according to court records.
It looks like the agent or informant asked them to buy guns, and they did (the story’s vague about it, but the guns did not come from Guard stocks). If someone asks you to do something like that, just say no. If he’s a sudden new BFF who’s appeared in your life, he’s probably an informant or agent… and if he’s an old buddy, he probably got his thingie in the wringer with an agent or informant, and now “buddy” is only half a word, because he’s serving up you in an attempt to keep him out of prison.
That’s just standard police work, people. But if you don’t do any crimes, nobody can do “standard police work” on you. These guys were falling all over themselves to help a cartel brotha out.
The two were arrested in April 2015. Federal authorities said some of the items they sold were military-issue, and some were purchased in Texas then resold to the undercover agent.
Authorities said they were also accused of selling military equipment from the California National Guard, including gun magazines, ammunition, ballistic vests and the ceramic shields that go inside the vests.
These things were more charges that were made to go away with the remarkably good plea deal these guys got.
Casillas was accused of boasting to the undercover agent that he could procure such items, and the investigation began. The transactions totaled some $15,000, authorities said.
“All my success I owe to my boasting,” said nobody, nowhere, never. Let that be a lesson to you. Pride goeth before the jail.
Initially the two were charged with selling other equipment such as protective body armor and ammunition, but those charges were dropped as part of a plea agreement.
It’s surprising that two guys who willingly sold guns to someone they thought was a cartel lógistico got such a light pair of sentences: one year, and time served. Makes one wonder if they’re soon going to be calling on their former friends with tempting offers, whilst wearing wires.
If one of your friends, dealers, online buddies, or contacts, gets popped by the Feds, remember two things:
- You can never trust him again. Sorry, that’s just the way it is. Agents will not commit perjury or fraud to get you in the dock (although it’s perfectly okay for them to lie to you to further an investigation), and in theory confidential informants (especially paid, controlled ones) are supposed to follow similar ethics rules, but in the real world the CI is managed on a “don’t ask, don’t tell” basis.
- If you don’t offer or agree to commit a violation, they’ll move on to someone weaker. Because there’s always someone like that… unless it’s you.
The simplest way to avoid being in ATF crosshairs for selling to the cartels, of course, is don’t ever be willing or ready to sell to the cartels. The ATF is, after all, very jealous of its own prerogatives here, and only sworn agents are allowed to deliver firearms to Mexican drug trafficking organizations.