In the latest crackdown on Mexican drug cartels operating in North Texas, federal agents have arrested three men trying to buy 20 fully-automatic machine guns, according to court documents.
The men were arrested in Fort Worth on Wednesday by agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF.
Jesus Salvador Garcia, Noe Delarosa, and Juan Arriaga met with undercover agents on June 5 and “indicated that the firearms were to be transported into Mexico,” the ATF said in a criminal complaint.
On Wednesday, the trio again met with the agents and paid $12,000 for 20 fully-automatic AK-47 machine guns and were then arrested, the complaint said.
The men were ordered jailed until a preliminary hearing on Friday. Prosecutors told a federal judge there was a serious risk the men would flee if they were released.
The complaint did not identify which cartel was behind the alleged purchase, but similar arrests in North Texas have involved the Zetas, a violent drug-trafficking organization responsible for thousands of killings in Mexico.
Just last week, FBI agents arrested Jose Trevino, a Balch Springs man whose two brothers are reputed leaders of the Zetas. Trevino is accused of laundering drug money in the quarter-horse industry and had recently moved to an Oklahoma ranch.