At least one of the weapons used in the deadly kidnapping of four Americans in Matamoros, Mexico, earlier this month was purchased in the United States and turned over to a Mexican cartel, court documents say.
Roberto Lugardo Moreno has been arrested and charged with conspiring to export or ship from the United States an “AR-style multi-caliber pistol” for use by the Gulf Cartel, according to the criminal complaint filed in the US District Court in Brownsville. , Texas.
Last week, that weapon was “recovered by Mexican authorities and linked to an incident of murder and kidnapping of United States citizens that occurred on March 3, 2023 in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico,” the criminal complaint states.
Lugardo Moreno told investigators that he purchased the gun on Oct. 17, 2019, for people he knew would provide it to a Gulf Cartel figure in Mexico, according to the criminal complaint. During that period, Lugardo Moreno said that he received a payment of US$100, according to the documents.
Lugardo Moreno also told investigators that he did not apply for a license to export the firearm from the United States to Mexico.
Four Americans were kidnapped in Matamoros on March 3. LaTavia Washington McGee and Eric Williams survived the kidnapping, while Shaeed Woodard and Zindell Brown were killed. Mexican authorities arrested 6 people in the kidnapping case.