Noncitizen sent to prison for firearms charge

McALLEN, Texas – A 21-year-old Mexican citizen has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of being in possession of a firearm while in the United States illegally, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Alberto Karr-Magana pleaded guilty May 22.

Today, Chief U.S. District Judge Randy Crane ordered Karr-Magana to serve 30 months in federal prison. At the hearing, the court heard additional evidence that law enforcement found not only a loaded firearm but drug paraphernalia as well. This included a scale with cocaine residue, marijuana and over $4,000 in cash. In handing down the sentence, the court noted Karr-Magana’s lengthy criminal history which included prior drug and firearm convictions. Not a U.S. citizen he is expected to face removal proceedings following his release from prison.

On March 29, law enforcement conducted a traffic stop of a 2016 Dodge Challenger. Karr-Magana was the sole occupant and driver. Authorities approached and detected a strong smell of marijuana emitting from the vehicle.

During a subsequent search of the vehicle, authorities found a loaded Glock, Model 43, 9mm caliber pistol on the driver side between the center console and carpet insulation. Authorities also located marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the vehicle. Karr-Magana admitted he did not have legal status to be in the United States and illegally entered the United States after being removed in 2020. Karr-Magana further claimed ownership of the firearm.

Karr-Magana has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation with the assistance of Alamo Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexa D. Parcell is prosecuting the case.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program. In May 2021, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced a new effort to reduce violent crime, including the gun violence that is often at its core. Integral to that effort was the reinvigoration of PSN, a two-decade old, evidence-based and community-oriented program focused on reducing violent crime. The updated PSN approach, outlined in the department’s Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Violent Crime is guided by four key principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities and measuring the results of our efforts. The fundamental goal is to reduce violent crime, not simply to increase the number of arrests or prosecutions.


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