A federal judge has sentenced a former Border Patrol agent to 51 months in prison for participating in a conspiracy to buy guns to be smuggled into Mexico.
Ricardo Montalvo pleaded guilty to knowingly recruiting others to act as straw purchasers for the guns. Prosecutors dismissed the other 19 counts of the indictment against him under a plea agreement.
The 29-year-old former agent was sentenced Thursday in El Paso. Prosecutors say he and his girlfriend bought nine weapons, high-capacity magazines for assault rifles and more than 20,000 rounds of ammunition.
His girlfriend Carla Gonzalez-Ortiz pleaded guilty to not reporting the crime and was released on Nov. 2 after serving seven months in jail.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.