Another Guilty Plea In Gun Smuggling Ring

Las Cruces – A fourth person has pleaded guilty to charges in connection with a gun smuggling ring that federal prosecutors say sent hundreds of guns into Mexico.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Monday that 25-year-old Ricardo Gutierrez of Columbus, N.M., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, three counts of making false statements while acquiring guns and three counts of gun smuggling.

He faces up to 50 years in prison if he's convicted.

Gutierrez is one among a dozen people, including former Columbus Mayor Eddie Espinoza, charged in the federal sting.

Columbus police Chief Angelo Vega and former trustee Blas Gutierrez also have been charged.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.