Three North Texas men who were arrested this week after buying 27 machine guns for a Mexican drug cartel also were interested in purchasing “bazookas, missile launchers, and grenades,” according to a federal criminal complaint.
Bryan Campbell, 38, of Lewisville, Jose Armando Riqueno-Hilario, 28, of Farmers Branch, and Augstin Reyes-Benitez, 23, whose hometown was not listed, were arrested Tuesday by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
An ATF agent said the investigation started last month when someone in law enforcement received information from a confidential source that Campbell wanted to purchase a large number of high-caliber rifles.
The source gave Campbell the phone number of an undercover agent posing as an arms trafficker, according to the criminal complaint.
Campbell called the agent and said he was interested in buying fully automatic firearms to send to the Mexican Mafia or a drug cartel.
The men paid the agent $26,980 for the weapons, the ATF said.
“Campbell stated his associate(s) was also interested in acquiring bazookas, missile launchers, and grenades,” the complaint said.
Attorneys for the three men either couldn’t be reached or did not return calls seeking comment.
The arrests are the latest in recent months of North Texans accused of running guns to violent Mexican drug cartels.