Harlingen man pleads guilty to firearm sale linked to deadly Matamoros kidnapping

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A 42-year-old Harlingen man faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to smuggling a firearm linked to a deadly March 2023 kidnapping in Matamoros.

Roberto Moreno was arrested on March 18 after Mexican authorities recovered an AR style pistol that was used in the deadly March 3 kidnappings of four U.S. citizens in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, according to the federal complaint against Moreno.

The gun was purchased by Moreno in 2019, the complaint stated.

Moreno reportedly said he bought the gun and gave it to someone he knew was going to hand it over to Gulf Cartel members for $100.

The serial number on the gun, according to the complaint, matched the weapon recovered by Mexican authorities investigating the deadly kidnapping in Matamoros.

Two of the kidnapped Americans were killed, and a Mexican woman who was a bystander during the kidnapping also died as a result of the attack.

Moreno also faces a possible $250,000 fine. He remains in custody pending his sentencing set for Wednesday, Aug. 9. 


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