3 Texas gun-trafficking suspects sentenced

DALLAS (AP) — Three Texas men whom federal officials say were linked to a gun used in a U.S. agent's death in Mexico were sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty to weapons charges.

Ranferi Osorio, 28; Kelvin Leon Morrison, 26; and Luis Carbajal, 23, were sentenced for their November guilty pleas. U.S. District Judge Sam Lindsay of Dallas sentenced Osorio to 10 years in prison, Morrison to 2½ years in prison, and Carbajal to two years of probation.

Osorio, a veteran of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars; his 22-year-old brother, Otilio Osorio; and Morrison, their neighbor, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, making false statements to a dealer to acquire a firearm and possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number. Otilio Osorio and four other co-defendants are scheduled to be sentenced next month and in June.

Carbajal pleaded guilty to making false statements to a dealer to acquire a firearm.

The firearms charges aren't directly related to last year's death of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico.

According to the indictment, the three lied to a licensed gun dealer from July 2010 through at least November 2010 to illegally obtain at least 10 firearms that they intended to pass on to others. Federal officials have said an informant reported the firearms were being supplied to the Zetas, the brutal Mexican drug cartel. Mexican authorities have arrested at least two Zetas members in the agent's shooting death.

According to federal complaints, investigators said the men met a confidential informant near Dallas in November 2010 and gave him 40 guns to take into Mexico. The pistols, rifles and a shotgun — most without serial numbers — were seized before they crossed the border as part of the undercover operation by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

But authorities later learned that another gun purchased in October 2010 by Otilio Osorio was used in the February 2011 attack on two ICE agents as they drove on a highway near San Luis Potosi in Mexico, killing Zapata and wounding Victor Avila.

Osorio bought that gun in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. It's unclear how, when and by whom that weapon was moved into Mexico.