Ex-Cop Gets Four Years for Falsifying 4473s, Sending Guns to Mexico

A former law enforcement officer in Texas will now spend four years behind bars for falsifying 4473s and selling guns to shady characters in Mexico.  

Jose Cruz, 49, was sentenced this week to 48 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Randy Crane, reports The Monitor.

According to the criminal complaint, Cruz, while working as the manager of The Gun Rack in McAllen, Texas, sent as many as 80 weapons and at least 500 rounds of ammo south of the border.

Judge Crane said that “After a gunfight where there were multiple people killed,” agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were able to trace the recovered guns at the crime scene back to Cruz’s store.

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After interviewing Cruz, ATF agents discovered he was padding honest customer’s 4473s with firearms they didn’t purchase.  Then, he would sell those extra guns out the back door to individuals to “protect himself,” according to his statement during the sentencing hearing on Monday.  

“He was basically acting under the direction of other people,” Richard Gould, Cruz’s public defender, said.

It’s not clear who those individuals were or why Cruz didn’t contact law enforcement for help.

As mentioned, Cruz was a cop.  He served on the job for 22 years in cities around the area before working as a reserve deputy for the Precinct 3 Hidalgo County Constable’s Office.

Cruz was a well-decorated law enforcement officer with extensive training, over 1600 hours. (Photo: Valerie Gonzalez)

In court, Cruz asked Judge Crane to consider his public service before deciding on his sentence.  

“I’ve already lost a lot of things,” said Cruz, reading from a prepared statement.  “I hope that my previous years of helping people out are taken into consideration.”

Judge Crane could have sentenced Cruz up to 57 months in prison. But opted for a lighter sentence of four years.

Cruz will have to turn himself in on Jan. 4, 2021.

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Kane December 4, 2020, 9:17 pm

    I thought only the Obama’s BATFE committed that type of crime. Good thing the BATFE is on this case.

  • CharlieKing1 December 4, 2020, 2:44 pm

    No sympathy or leniency…you tarnished the badge!

  • Russ December 4, 2020, 12:48 pm

    Scumbag should get more than 4 years, he is a disgrace.

  • Jeff Cooper December 4, 2020, 12:46 pm

    There wouldn’t be a massive demand for firearms in Mexico if the C.I.A. hadn’t set up the cartels back in the 70’s to fund Black Ops programs. Primarily though, there should be no gun laws. In a true free enterprise system people would be free to sell weapons to whomever they wished. Law must be reactive in nature and the introduction of ‘Positive Law’ has been one of the weapons used against us to destroy our Liberties.

  • Jim December 4, 2020, 12:38 pm

    I would have taken his past and present as a LEO into consideration and really thrown the book at him! Of all people he KNOWS the trouble and danger he has done to the people in his area. As a retired LEO myself I hold all of us to a higher standard.

  • Andy Buckmichael December 4, 2020, 11:53 am

    Typical useless scum cop. The only good cop is a dead cop.

    • Give Me Freedom December 13, 2020, 2:22 am

      I take it you would like roving bands of thugs roaming the streets doing whatever they want? Police help keep order in the United States. Good cops hate bad police officers like the one mentioned in this story. I completely disagree with your statement.

  • Huapakechi December 4, 2020, 10:45 am

    ***In court, Cruz asked Judge Crane to consider his public service before deciding on his sentence.

    Considering the background and lack of extenuating circumstances, the defendant should have his sentence doubled.

    • Russ December 4, 2020, 12:49 pm


  • Richard Gwaltney December 4, 2020, 8:47 am

    Why is this man being punished when Eric Holder and Barrack Obama did the same thing?

    • SuperG December 4, 2020, 10:40 am

      Because the Democrat swamp is still operating behind the scenes in D.C., thus putting Holder, Clinton, Comey, etc., above the law.

      • Mexoplex December 4, 2020, 11:58 am

        Really? trump is in office (not for long) but y’all STILL blame Obama WHILE THE CHEETO-IN-CHIEF has been in office for the past 4 years?!

        You must be some kind of stu-stu-stupid Boy.

    • Jim December 4, 2020, 12:41 pm

      VERY good question! I think we all know the answer to that, the DC Swamp is still pretty deep and while it was being drained a a good clip the last four years, the floodgates have plans to open on Jan. 20th to fill it back up to maximum levels if Biden is allowed to steal the election.

  • Altoids December 4, 2020, 8:00 am

    Interesting that Eric Holder essentially did the same thing but on a far larger scale, and he’s still walking around a free man.

    How does that happen?

    • Jim December 4, 2020, 12:43 pm

      It shouldn’t and Holder and a few others should be in prison right now for doing this and getting many Mexican citizens murdered plus two American Law Enforcement Officers also murdered in the line of duty because of these firearms being on the loose.

  • Pete Farris December 4, 2020, 6:44 am

    Paper laws are not self-enforcing. In the end, only the honesty of people can be effective. Officialdom should stop imposing more burdens on honest people and punish bad actors.

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