HOUSTON – Two women and two men residing in Houston are
set to appear in federal court for making false statements during the
acquisition of firearms, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
A federal grand jury returned the 29-count superseding
indictment today. All were previously charged July 3. They are expected to
appear again in federal court today at 10 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge
Maribel Santana-Cerdo, 42, Ariceli Santana,
44, Carlos Joel Hernandez, 24, and Johnny Talavera, 26, all of Houston,
allegedly straw purchased 71 firearms.
“Straw purchasing” occurs when someone
professes to be purchasing a firearm for themselves, when in actuality, they
provide it to someone else, usually not legally able to do it themselves.
If convicted, each of the violations carries a punishment of up to 10 years imprisonment and a
$250,000 maximum possible fine.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Schammel is
prosecuting the case.