Judge Robert Brack sentenced 27-year-old Vicente Carreon to 46 months in prison during a hearing Wednesday. Brack also ordered that Carreon be placed under supervised release for a period of three years after completing his prison term.
Brack reportedly rejected a prosecutor's request that Carreon be given a stiffer sentence.
Carreon pleaded guilty to one count of smuggling firearms from the United States and one count of conspiracy -- admitting that he assisted in the smuggling into Mexico of at least 30 nine-millimeter pistols purchased from Chaparral Guns in Chaparral New Mexico.
Carreon assisted by removing serial numbers as well as U-P-C codes from firearms boxes, purchasing a backpack used in transporting the firearms and transporting the firearms to a stash house in El Paso.
Last summer, 14 people were charged in federal indictments involving arms smuggling to Mexican cartels. Columbus Police Chief Angelo Vega, Mayor Eddie Espinoza, and a trustee, Blas "Woody" Gutierrez, were among the defendants charged.
Federal prosecutors say the defendants were part of a conspiracy in which straw buyers bought about 200 firearms from a dealer in Chaparral and sent them to Mexican drug gang members.