TEXAS - A Dallas man was caught at the border allegedly trying to smuggle nearly 200 guns into Mexico, according to federal court records.
Santiago Ramirez, 26, of Dallas faces up to 30 years in prison on multiple gun trafficking charges.
According to a federal indictment, Ramirez told federal investigators he was paid $6,000 by a man in Mexico, who goes by the name "El Tio", to transport weapons from Dallas into Mexico.
Ramirez told federal agents, according to court records, he was instructed to drop off an empty trailer in the parking lot of a Walmart in Dallas. A few days later, he picked up that same trailer which was now loaded with guns hidden behind a fake wall.
Border agents in Eagle Pass found 187 firearms, including handguns, shotguns, and assault rifles, hidden in the trailer as Ramirez tried to cross the border on October 30th.
Ramirez freely told federal agents, according to court records, he had trafficked weapons for the same man in Mexico on two prior occasions.
Ramirez made his initial appearance in federal court on Thursday. The CBS News Texas I-Team reached out to his attorney in San Antonio and had not heard back at the time this story was published.
Last month in, Jeffery Boshek, AFT Special Agent in Charge for the Dallas Field Division, told the I-Team when federal law enforcement began ramping up gun trafficking efforts in border cities, Mexican drug cartels started looking north to the DFW area for gun straw buyers and transporters.
Straw buyers are people who purchase guns on behalf of someone else. Transporters are those paid to take those guns across the border.
"It's a huge problem on both sides or the border," Boshek said. "I would say it's the ATF's and the Dallas Field Division's number one priority."
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