An Army sergeant and military recruiter in South Texas must serve nearly 17 years in prison in a scheme to funnel dozens of assault weapons to a Mexican drug cartel.
Julian Prezas was sentenced Thursday in San Antonio. The 37-year-old San Antonio man in December pleaded guilty to five counts of making a false statement during the purchase of firearms and one count related to attempting to export guns to Mexico.
Investigators say Prezas in 2015 conspired with several other soldiers to illegally purchase more than 40 assault rifles. Three co-defendants received probation.
An attorney for Prezas has said his client is a decorated veteran who misunderstood gun sale laws.
Prosecutors on Thursday identified Prezas as a former sergeant. Details weren't immediately available on his military status.