Grand jury indicts 20 in alleged gun smuggle ring


Published: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 3:18 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 3:18 p.m.

PHOENIX — A grand jury has indicted 20 people on firearms charges for allegedly participating in a ring that bought more than 700 guns that were to be smuggled into Mexico for use by a drug cartel.

Dennis Burke, the U.S. attorney for Arizona, says the ring is believed to have supplied the Sinaloa cartel with guns.

Authorities say some of the weapons were used in shootings in Mexico's drug war.

Burke says those indicted include ring organizers and "straw buyers" recruited to buy guns on behalf of smugglers.

Officials say one buyer who is accused of making six buys for the ring purchased 48 guns.

In all, 560 of the ring's guns were recovered, a third in Mexico and the rest mostly in Arizona.

The indictment was unsealed Tuesday.

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