LUBBOCK, Texas — Two women who were accused of buying firearms from a federally firearm license (FFL) dealer in Lubbock in December 2022, were sentenced on Thursday to a combined 18 months in federal prison, according to plea papers.
Cassandra Gonzalez, 51, and Imajah Tierra Cervantes, her 29-year-old daughter, were indicted in March, a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Gonzalez pleaded guilty in June to false statements during the purchase of a firearm and was sentenced in October to 6 months in federal prison for False Material Statement During the Purchase of a Firearm. The press release said that Cervantes pleaded guilty in July to straw purchasing of a firearm and was sentenced today to 12 months and one day in prison.
The plea papers detailed that on Dec. 30, 2022, Gonzalez confirmed that she was purchasing the firearm for herself and said she lived in Garland, Texas – an address that did not match her actual address in Lubbock.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives’ agents contacted the Lubbock FFL and notified them of the address issue, the press release said. ATF learned that Gonzalez planned to return to the store on Jan. 4, 2023, to complete the transaction.
On that date, agents observed Gonzalez and Cervantes purchase the firearm, intercepted the women, took custody of the rifle and separated them for questioning.
Gonzalez admitted that the address she used on the ATF form was not correct, but initially maintained that she purchased the rifle for herself.
Cervantes, however, told agents that a Mexican man living in Dallas provided her with the money to purchase the rifle, and said that she and her mother were going to receive $2,000 for purchasing the firearm and delivering it to the man, who she knew was affiliated with a Mexican drug cartel, the press release said. She admitted that she’d delivered a gun to him before and that she knew the man intended to use the firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Gonzalez then admitted that she lied on the form, knowing full well that she intended to purchase the firearm not for herself, but on behalf of another person.
According to the press release, the ATF Dallas Field Division – Lubbock Resident Agency conducted the investigation.