Feds Arrest Former Businessman Indicted in Ammunition Smuggling Scheme
EL PASO — Former Uniforms of Texas owner Hector Ayala, 48, was arrested in connection with a scheme to smuggle ammunition and other prohibited items into the Republic of Mexico.
A federal grand jury indictment–returned last Wednesday and unsealed Monday–charges Ayala with two counts of facilitating the smuggling of goods from the United States; two counts of illegally exporting ballistic vests and high capacity magazines without a license; and, two counts of money laundering.
The indictment alleges that from September 1, 2009, to December 3, 2011, Ayala concealed and facilitated the transportation of multiple calibers and quantities of ammunition; approximately 300 high capacity ammunition magazines and drums; and, approximately 800 ballistic vests with ceramic plates knowing that the items were intended to be exported from the United States into Mexico. The indictment also alleges that during that same time period, Ayala conducted financial transactions with proceeds derived from the sale of ammunition, magazines and ballistic vests. On multiple occasions, Ayala structured cash transactions in amounts under $10,000 in order to avoid financial reporting requirements.
Ayala is scheduled to have his initial appearance at 2:30 Monday. Upon conviction, Ayala faces up to 20 years imprisonment on each of the money laundering charges; up to ten years imprisonment on each of the remaining charges.