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Texas Man Purchased Gun Used by Cartel for Kidnap, Murder of U.S. Citizens in Mexico

A Texas man pleaded guilty to buying a gun for the Gulf Cartel used by gunmen in Mexico during a kidnapping where two U.S. citizens were murdered.

Roberto Lugardo Moreno, age 42, appeared before a federal judge in Brownsville, Texas, and pleaded guilty to a weapon smuggling charge. U.S. District Judge Rolando Olvera is expected to sentence Lugardo in August during a hearing where the man could receive up to ten years in prison.

Court documents obtained by Breitbart Texas revealed that on March 14, agents with ICE Homeland Security Investigations received information from Mexican authorities, including the serial number of a Diamondback AR-type pistol, that was seized in the border city of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, and is believed to have been used in a kidnapping incident where two out of four victims were killed.

Authorities tracked the weapon to Lugardo who confessed to agents that he had bought the gun and other weapons for a man he knew was a member of the Gulf Cartel. During each purchase, he would receive $100.

“These weapons often contribute to fueling the violence committed by drug cartels, which drastically affects communities both in Mexico and in the United States,”  HSI Acting Special Agent in Charge, Craig Larrabee, said to Breitbart Texas in a prepared statement. “This investigation and prosecution highlight the fine work federal border security agencies perform each day, often behind the scenes and often unknown to the public.”

According to case information, Gulf Cartel gunmen used the weapon on March 3 when they chased, shot, and kidnapped Latavia “Tay” McGee, Shaeed Woodard, Zindell Brown, and Eric James Williams in Matamoros. After the shooting, the gunmen took the victims to a hospital in Matamoros that the Gulf Cartel uses for treating their gunmen. From there, the gunmen moved their victims to a series of stash houses until they dropped them off at a shack outside of the city for authorities to find. By the time Mexican authorities found the victims days later, two had died. In an attempt to appease government officials, the Gulf Cartel surrendered five of its gunmen.

The cartel gunmen used an ambulance from the Matamoros city government that authorities have since seized. Following that seizure, Breitbart Texas was able to report exclusively that the Matamoros city official in charge of overseeing the EMS services for the city had been a Gulf Cartel enforcer who previously spent time in a Mexican prison. City officials quietly removed Pedro “El Polaris” Hernandez Quiroga and two others after the exposé.  Since then, Mexican authorities have not arrested anyone else in connection with the crime.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at

Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at     

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