Illegal Immigrant Says He Had No Idea There Were 15 Assault Rifles in His Trunk
On Thursday afternoon, patrol officers performed a routine traffic stop in Oak Cliff. They found that the driver, 24-year-old Jesus Gonzalez, wasn't wearing a seat belt, was driving without a license, and was in the country illegally. They also found a little bonus prize: 15 AK-style assault rifles in the trunk.
Gonzalez was taken to jail on immigration charges. And yesterday, the Feds filed a criminal complaint yesterday providing a few more details about how Gonzalez came to be toting a large cache of assault weapons through Oak Cliff.
Gonzalez was at home in San Antonio on Thursday morning when he received a text asking if he wanted to make some money, he told investigators. The sender didn't specify how the money was to be made, but he needed the cash, so he drove to Dallas. En route to the Jack in the Box where he was supposed to meet up with someone driving a white SUV, he picked up Maria Isabel Deleon.
Deleon and Gonzalez are friends in San Antonio, she told the feds. When she learned he was in Dallas to "do some business," she asked him for a ride to Fort Worth to visit her daughter, who had just had surgery.
So off they went to Jack in the Box, where they found the white SUV and followed it to a nearby residence. There, two Hispanic men took several objects from the back of the SUV -- Gonzalez swears he had no idea what they were -- and put them in his trunk. They told him to drive back to San Antonio to await further instructions.
Gonzalez didn't make it that far. He was pulled over by police within a block. They discovered the shrink-wrapped weapons -- most of them were Zastava M70s from Yugoslavia -- and hauled him off to jail. He's being charged with being an illegal alien in possession of firearms, which carries a maximum 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Observer's biggest stories.