Mexican National Sentenced to 57 Months in Prison for Possessing a Firearm

Co-defendant sentenced after fugitive takedown of Phoenix drug house

PHOENIX (LAWFUEL) – Christian Rene Bueno-Figueroa, 24, of Sinaloa, Mexico, was sentenced to 57 months in prison by U.S. District Judge James A. Teilborg on Monday, April 27. Bueno-Figueroa, a Mexican national illegally in the United States, was arrested on June 26, 2008, for possession of a firearm. On November 4, 2008, he pleaded guilty to Alien in Possession of a Firearm, a federal felony.

On the morning of June 26, 2008 a team of police officers, federal agents, and probation officers entered the residence where Bueno-Figueroa was staying to execute an arrest warrant issued by Maricopa County Superior Court for another individual. When officers and agents entered the home, they found Bueno-Figueroa in possession of a .38 super caliber pistol and $12,500 in cash. Two other firearms were found in the kitchen along with scales, a cutting agent for the preparation of methamphetamine, and what appeared to be a drug ledger. A vehicle in the garage was found to contain approximately 75 grams of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”) in a hidden compartment. The key to that car was found in the possession of another occupant of the home, Andres Eduardo Zazueta-Castro, 23, of Sinaloa, Mexico. Bueno-Figueroa’s wife and two small children were also in the home.

On February 17, 2009, Zazueta-Castro was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Paul G. Rosenblatt to 60 months in the Bureau of Prisons. Zazueta-Castro pleaded guilty on October 21, 2008 to Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime.

Beyond their prison sentences, they were also ordered to forfeit $12,500 currency, drug scales, the firearms, and the Pontiac Grand Prix where the drugs were located.

This case is a result of Project Safe Neighborhoods, an illegal firearms enforcement program. The effectiveness of Project Safe Neighborhoods in the District of Arizona is based on the ability of federal, state, and local agencies to cooperate in a unified offensive led by U.S. Attorney Diane J. Humetewa. Through ongoing partnerships among federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies, like the one in this case, U.S. Attorney Humetewa is implementing a series of strategies that are contoured to fit the specific firearms crime problems throughout Arizona.

The investigation in this case was conducted by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; United States Marshal’s Service, Arizona Department of Public Safety; Maricopa County Adult Probation Department and the Phoenix Police Department. The prosecution was handled by Theresa Cole Rassas, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

CASE NUMBER: CR-08-0691-PHX-PGR

RELEASE NUMBER: 2009-142 Zazueta-Castro

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