Columbus Gun Smuggling Case Transferred

El Paso – The U.S. attorney's office in West Texas says it is taking over a gun smuggling case that involves the mayor, police chief and other officials from a New Mexico border town.

U.S. attorney spokesman Daryl Fields would not explain why control of the case was transferred to Texas from New Mexico.

Former Columbus Mayor Eddie Espinoza, former police Chief Angelo Vega and former town trustee Blas Gutierrez along with nine others are accused of purchasing assault rifles in the U.S. and smuggling the guns into Mexico to be sold to drug cartels.

The defendants are scheduled for trial in October.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.