Ian Garland wrote in a letter to the Las Cruces Sun-News that he won't eat until he is allowed visits from his lawyers and the media. The 51-year-old pleaded guilty in July to federal charges of conspiracy and making false statements in the acquisition of firearms. He tried to withdraw his plea last month but U.S. District Court Judge Robert Brack denied the request.
The Chaparral, N.M., man was one of 14 border residents who entered plea agreements in the case. One defendant is set for trial. Authorities accused them of conspiring to smuggle about 200 firearms favored by Mexican cartels. Involved in the same case are former Columbus Mayor Eddie Espinoza, former Police Chief Angelo Vega and former Columbus Trustee Blas "Woody" Gutierrez.
The majority of the defendants (including Garland) were arrested in March of 2011 as the result of an 84-count federal indictment. One defendant; Ignacio Villalobos remains at large. The indictment alleges the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to buy firearms for illegal export to Mexico between January 2010 and March of 2011.