Weapon in kidnapping of Americans in Mexico came from the US

A man who admitted buying firearms he knew would go from the United States to a drug cartel in Mexico has been arrested in Texas after one of the guns was found to be linked to the recent kidnapping of four Americans, according to court documents. .

Roberto Lugardo Moreno had an initial appearance Monday in federal court in Brownsville and was assigned a public defender, who did not immediately respond to a voicemail message left seeking comment. His detention hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

The kidnapping occurred in Matamoros, Mexico, which borders Brownsville.

According to a federal complaint filed Saturday, Lugardo Moreno was charged with conspiring to illegally export a firearm. The complaint states that he admitted to buying firearms for people he knew were going to turn them over to a member of the Gulf Cartel in Mexico.

The serial number on a firearm he purchased in October 2019 matches that of a gun recovered by authorities that was linked to the March 3 kidnappings, according to the complaint. Lugardo Moreno said he did not apply for a license to export the firearm from the United States to Mexico and knew it would be exported illegally, according to the complaint.

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