National Guard Soldiers Sold Military-Style Assault Rifles to Undercover Agent | NBC 7 San Diego

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National Guard Soldiers Sold Military-Style Assault Rifles to Undercover Agent

The two men worked with the armory in El Cajon and thought they were selling firearms to a member of a Mexican drug cartel, according to federal prosecutors

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    Krentz Johnson
    A courtroom drawing from Thursday, April 16, 2015. Left to right: Jaime Casillas, Andrew Reyes, Judge Mitchell Dembin, Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Haden

    Two members of the California Army National Guard admitted to selling military-style assault rifles to an uncover agent who was pretending to be a member of a Mexican drug cartel.

    Jaime Casillas, 22, of El Cajon and Andrew Reyes, 34, of La Mesa worked at the Army National Guard Armory in El Cajon.

    The two men entered a plea agreement in federal court Thursday, admitting they sold firearms twice to an undercover agent with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives.

    According to the plea agreement, Reyes sold an AK-47 rifle and two AR-15 rifles in 2014 and another AR-15 rifle in March 2015 knowing the guns were headed to Mexico.

    National Guardsmen Plead Not Guilty to Weapons Charges

    [DGO] National Guardsmen Plead Not Guilty to Weapons Charges
    Two members of the California Army National Guard pleaded not guilty in federal court on Thursday to charges that they sold firearms to a purported Mexican drug cartel member. NBC 7's Bridget Naso reports. (Published Thursday, April 16, 2015)

    According to his plea agreement, Casillas sold a .40-caliber pistol and an AR-15 rifle at two different meetings in 2014. He also admitted that he believed the guns were going to Mexico.

    Investigators said during one transaction, the men allegedly showed up in Army uniforms and collected $2,150 from the agent for an AR-15 rifle.

    Both men pleaded guilty to one count of dealing firearms without a license. Reyes also pleaded guilty to three counts of unlicensed transportation of firearms in connection with his travel to Texas to purchase assault weapons which were transported to California and sold here.

    The undercover ATF agent engaged in a four-month sting leading to arrests in April 2015.

    Staff Sgt. Andrew Reyes enlisted with the California Army National Guard in 2008 after serving in the Marine Corps. Specialist Jaime Casillas enlisted in 2011.

    The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on April 15 before U.S. District Judge M. James Lorenz.