Tucson man sentenced to federal prison for smuggling firearms

Border Crime

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A Tucson man has been sentenced to 6 ½ years in federal prison for smuggling firearms and ammunition into Mexico.

Prosecutors said 31-year-old Ruben Arnulfo Chavarin also was fined more than $10,000.

On 14 occasions between December 2010 and February 2011, prosecutors said Chavarin purchased eight firearms and over 21,000 rounds of ammunition in Tucson.

They said he provided the firearms and more than 12,500 rounds of ammunition to co-conspirators to be smuggled out of the U.S. and into Mexico.

In February 2011, authorities said Chavarin attempted to personally smuggle 8,700 rounds of ammunition into Mexico, but was arrested at the Port of Entry in Douglas, Arizona.

Subsequent investigation revealed that shortly before his arrest, Chavarin had ordered 16 AK-47 style rifles and 10,000 rounds of ammunition, which he also intended to smuggle into Mexico.

While under indictment for seven weapons trafficking offenses, Chavarin fled to Mexico.

He remained a fugitive for nine years until his arrest in 2020.

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