Weapon used in fatal Matamoros kidnapping was traced back to the U.S.
A man in Texas was arrested after admitting he purchased firearms in the U.S. that he knew would be going to a Mexican drug cartel. The cartel kidnapped four U.S. citizens in Matamoros earlier this month.
The kidnapping resulted in the deaths of two of the kidnap victims, Shaeed Woodard and Zindell Brown.
One of the weapons used in the incident was traced back to Roberto Lugardo Moreno, also a U.S. citizen.
Moreno admitted to federal authorities that he received $100 for purchasing a “multi-caliber AR style pistol" in the Rio Grande Valley. While he purchased the firearm legally, he did not apply for a license to export it — according to the criminal complaint filed against him on Saturday.
Moreno made his first appearance in federal court in Brownsville on Monday. He was charged with conspiring to illegally export guns. His detention hearing was scheduled for Thursday.
About 200,000 weapons are smuggled from the U.S into Mexico every year. In 2022, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms traced 30,000 of those weapons found in crime scenes in Mexico. Between 70 to 90% of those weapons were traced back to the U.S.