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American gets 12 years in prison for running guns to Mexico

LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS (AP) – An Oklahoma man was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison on Wednesday for conspiring to smuggle guns through Arkansas to Mexican drug cartels.

In a statement, United States (US) federal prosecutors said Andrew Scott Pierson was sentenced in Little Rock, Arkansas, for his November 9 guilty plea.

The 46-year-old Jay, Oklahoma, man faced up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to USD1 million at sentencing.

In 2017, an unidentified Arkansas man reported receiving firearm components to process that he recognised as counterfeit. Federal agents traced them to a Laredo, Texas, organisation smuggling the parts to Pierson in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

Pierson turned himself over to federal agents at the Laredo port of entry in December 2018 and admitted to ordering and receiving firearm parts from the US and manufacturing automatic weapons in Mexico for the Northeastern and Jalisco New Generation cartels. Law enforcement later confirmed that Pierson’s arrest impaired cartel firearm availability,
prosecutors said.

Five co-defendants have previously pleaded guilty, and one co-defendant remains a fugitive in Mexico, according to prosecutors.