Federal agents arrest 2 people accused of participating in straw-purchasing scheme

Federal agents arrested two people accused of participating in a straw-purchasing scheme on Wednesday.

A gun shop contacted the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives on Wednesday about a suspicious purchase by Guadalupe Patricia Salas-De Mata, according to the federal criminal complaint against her. Agents started following Salas.

After Salas left the gun shop, she went to a home in McAllen, according to the criminal complaint. Agents followed her from the home to a convenience store in Pharr, where she met a Mexican citizen named Rodolfo Garcia-Zamarripa.

While agents watched, Garcia took two rifles from Salas' car and placed the weapons in his car, according to the criminal complaint. Agents detained them after witnessing the transaction.

Salas said Garcia offered her $160 to buy the rifles.

"Garcia-Zamarripa admitted he did not possess a hunting license and knew he could not purchase or possess firearms," according to the criminal complaint against him. "Garcia-Zamarripa further admitted that he took possession of both of the aforementioned AK-47 type rifles from Salas-De Mata and planned to transport them into Mexico."

Garcia is charged with unlawful possession of firearms.

Salas is charged with making a false statement on a federal firearms form.

Attorneys for Garcia and Salas didn't respond to requests for comment.

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