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Gun Used in Kidnapping of Americans in Mexico Traced to U.S.

Roberto Lugardo Moreno, who admitted to purchasing firearms that he knew would be going from the U.S. to a Mexican drug cartel, has been arrested in Texas after the discovery that one of the weapons was linked to the deadly kidnapping of four Americans. With his detention hearing scheduled for Thursday, Moreno made an initial appearance Monday at a federal court in Brownsville, Tx., where he was appointed a public defender. The kidnapping occurred in Matamoros, Mexico, just across the border from Brownsville. Moreno has been charged with conspiring to illegally export a firearm, which he said he was given $100 to purchase, reports the Associated Press.


The serial number of a firearm he purchased in October 2019 matched that of a gun recovered by authorities linked to the March 3 kidnappings. Moreno said he didn’t apply for a license to export the firearm from the U.S. The drug cartel shootout in Matamoros targeted four friends who were traveling to Mexico so one member of the party could have cosmetic surgery. After a vehicle crashed into their van, men in tactical vests with assault rifles arrived in another vehicle and surrounded them. Shaeed Woodard and Zindell Brown appeared to have been killed immediately and their bodies were loaded into a truck with the two survivors, Eric Williams and Latavia McGee. The bodies along with the survivors were found days later in a shack.

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