Assault rifles and hand guns were smuggled across the Mexico border in city-owned trucks as part of a gun smuggling scheme that landed a New Mexico mayor in jail for 51 months.

The sentence was light, considering one of the defendants in the case is facing a possible 280-year sentence.

The weapons were being sent to a group of rogue police officers who were acting as enforcers for the Juarez Cartel. Some of the $70,000 worth of guns taken into Mexico included 193 AK-47s, tactical gear and body armor.


The ousted mayor of a small New Mexico border town who helped run nearly 200 firearms to a violent Mexican drug cartel was sentenced on Thursday to 51 months in prison, authorities said.

Eddie Espinoza, 52, the former mayor of Columbus, received the sentence from U.S. District Judge Robert Brack in federal court in Las Cruces, New Mexico, U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman said.

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