Federal charges filed in San Juan cartel body armor case

A San Juan man is now facing federal charges for buying body armor for the Gulf Cartel.

U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents filed charges against Carlos Paez-Renteria on Tuesday.

He admitted to getting paid to buy helmets, boots, body armor and ammunition for people he believed where part of the cartel.

San Juan Police Sgt. Rudy Luna said it might be easy to buy but that does not mean an Average Joe needs to be in possession of it.

"This is military equipment, said Luna. This is equipment that is used in wars---in battles against each other."

Battles like the one happening just seven miles south of San Juan and many Rio Grande Valley cities.

Luna said, yes it is legal to buy and sell these items, but why does one person need 50 ballistic helmets, over 600 rounds of ammunition, and 24 pairs of tactical boots.

"It serves no purpose of someone owning all of this if you're just going to have them at the house," said Luna.

Luna said he has heard it all----he said for those who say this person might have bought these items wholesale and are going to sell them at the flea market---he doesn TMt buy it.

"This person was going to possibly be exporting them to Mexico," said Luna.

Jaime Leyva agreed with Sgt. Luna. He said someone who stocks up on these kinds of items is up to no good.

"We shouldn't have any arms of that kind because we could be in danger---everywhere is dangerous," said Leyva.

Jose Gonzalez disagrees. He said he lives in America and should be able to possess whatever he wants.

"It doesn't bother me as long as it doesn't do any harm to me," said Gonzalez.

Luna said companies that sell this type of equipment need to be even stricter because of the drug cartel violence south of the border.

Click here for a full copy of the federal charges against Paez-Renteria