Gun buying scheme lands Brownsville customs officer in jail

Manuel Eduardo Peña // Brownsville City Jail Photo

A U.S. customs officer has been arrested in South Texas on federal charges of illegally buying guns for another person.

Federal prosecutors say 38-year-old Manuel Eduardo Pea twice bought hunting rifles at a Brownsville sporting goods store and then accepted reimbursement from a legal permanent resident who did not have the documentation to buy the guns himself.

Pea was charged with making false statements on the forms when buying the guns.

An attorney was not immediately listed for Pena. He was arrested late Thursday and made his initial appearance in federal court Friday.

A judge ordered him released on $50,000 bond. He faces five years in prison if convicted.

Pea has been a customs officer for 12 years.