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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Breaking--gun store owner in NM pleads guilty in weapons to Mexico scheme

A gun store owner in Chaparral, New Mexico who is at the center of a scandal involving 15 citizens at the border town of Columbus, NM has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and making false statements to authorities concerning weapons purchased at his shop, according to Las Cruces Sun-News. The conspiracy charge arises out of a scheme perpetrated by Columbus city officials, including the mayor and police chief, who bought weapons at the gun store in order to smuggle them across the border into Mexico.
Ian Garland, who owns Chaparral Guns in Chaparral, NM, had originally stated that he had no knowledge of the gun smuggling scheme. Early reports indicated that Garland had followed the law in selling the guns to Columbus officials and had even followed the ATF's specific instructions to do so.
Originally Garland had been charged with weapons trafficking in addition to the two charges to which he has pleaded guilty. Apparently that charge was dropped.
Interestingly, Garland had been offered a plea bargain agreement in which in exchange for confessing to having full knowledge of where the firearms were going and thus, making false statements to law enforcement, he could at least get out of jail....

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