Can. man caught at the border with Mexico, accused of theft of 41 firearms

Photo Aristide Economopoulos
Photo Aristide Economopoulos

KANSAS CITY — A Kansas man was arrested last week as he crossed the border from Mexico into the United States after being indicted by a federal grand jury for stealing 41 firearms from a gun shop in Raytown, Missouri, the state’s attorney’s office said. United States.

“We are committed to stopping the flow of illegal firearms onto the black market, whether they are trafficked within the United States or smuggled into Mexico,” said U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore of the Western District of Missouri. “Stolen firearms often supply black market traffickers and fuel increased crime and violence. It is crucial that we hold everyone involved in this chain of criminal activity accountable.”

“The indictments demonstrate the strength of the nation’s criminal weapons intelligence community and its collaboration with Mexican law enforcement to stem the flow of firearms from the U.S. into Mexico – where they arm the violent cartels flooding our communities with deadly drugs,” said Deputy Attorney General General Lisa Monaco. “By submitting information about recovered firearms to ATF’s eTrace system, Mexican law enforcement helped us link the alleged theft of firearms in Missouri to their international transport and recovery in Mexico.”

“Mexican organized crime groups use firearms to commit heinous crimes against civilians and rival criminal groups,” said Bernard G. Hansen, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Kansas City. “There is no safe haven for anyone engaged in illegal firearms trafficking into Mexico. Stemming the flow of illegal weapons into Mexico is ATF’s top priority and we will work relentlessly to investigate firearm thefts to prevent and dismantle the flow of illegal firearms.”

Frank Guereca, 22, Olathe, was charged with stealing firearms from a federal firearms licensee in an indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Missouri, on Wednesday, April 24. The charges were quashed and made up. audience today. Guereca is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Miguel Torres of the Western District of Texas today at 2:30 PM in El Paso, Texas (3:30 PM CST).

The federal indictment alleges that Guereca, with the help of others, stole the firearms on June 16, 2023. All stolen firearms were pistols of different manufacturers and calibers.

According to court documents, Guereca and at least two others used a stolen U-Haul to carry out the firearms theft. One of the stolen pistols from the gun shop was recovered on November 14, 2023 in Tracy, California. A second stolen handgun was recovered on December 19, 2023 in Chihuahua, Mexico. A third stolen gun was recovered in Juarez. , Mexico, on February 6, 2024.

Guereca was arrested on Thursday, April 25, as he attempted to return to the United States from Mexico. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data, Guereca had crossed the border approximately 20 times since the June 16, 2023, burglary and theft.