Feds Arrest Lewisville Man in Gun-Running Probe

Agents say guns were headed to Mexican drug cartels

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Denton County Sheriff's Department
    Gregorio Morales, 35, is accused in a federal gun-smuggling probe.

    A federal investigation into the smuggling of high-powered weapons to Mexican drug cartels led to Lewisville and the arrest of a "very nice" father of two.

    Gregorio Morales, 35, owns a two-story brick house in a quiet Lewisville neighborhood on Honeysuckle Lane.

    Until his arrest, he lived there with his two young children, neighbors said.

    "I talked to him all the time," said one woman who declined to give her name. "(He was) very polite, very nice -- very, very nice."

    Lewisville Dad Accused in Gun-Smuggling Investigation

    [DFW] Lewisville Dad Accused in Gun-Smuggling Investigation
    A federal investigation into the smuggling of high-powered weapons to Mexican drug cartels led to Lewisville and the arrest of a "very nice" father of two.

    But Morales is now behind bars. Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives raided his house on Tuesday and found weapons and cash, ATF spokesman Tom Crowley said.

    According to court documents, the investigation started in Oklahoma City and focused on powerful weapons such as AK-47s and SKSs that were being smuggled to Mexico, where an estimated 28,000 people have died in drug-related violence since 2006.

    Starting in June, ATF agents tracked weapons purchased at several Oklahoma gun stores.

    The probe led to the arrest of a surprise suspect -- drug agent Francisco Reyes, who worked undercover for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.

    Reyes' arrest affidavit said ATF agents placed an electronic tracking device on a 50-caliber semi-automatic rifle he had purchased in Oklahoma and followed it to Morales' house in Lewisville -- and ultimately down Interstate 35 all the way to the border, where they stopped it from crossing into Mexico.

    Reyes' supervisors said they were saddened and surprised by the charges.

    "We want to stress that this was a single individual employee acting on his own, on his own time, not during bureau hours or in bureau vehicles," said Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics agent Mark Woodward.

    Reyes resigned following his arrest.

    In Lewisville, Morales' neighbors said he told them he sold cars.

    They recalled seeing trucks unloading boxes outside his house late at night but didn't think much of it because he seemed friendly and sometimes played with his children in his yard.

    "I would have never known, never known," said one neighbor.

    Mexican authorities have long said that the majority of weapons used by drug cartels come from the United States.