ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A Mexican national who claimed to be a police officer appeared in federal court on a criminal complaint charging him with being an alien in possession of a firearm.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents investigated the case.
David Pasillas Martinez, 52, of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, will remain in custody pending trial, which has not yet been scheduled.
According to the criminal complaint, while conducting surveillance at the Las Cruces Gun Show in Las Cruces on Jan. 7, HSI special agents observed a vehicle with Chihuahua, Mexico, license plates registered to Pasillas Martinez. Agents saw him leave the gun show and place a firearm in the rear passenger side of his vehicle before driving away. They followed Pasillas Martinez from Las Cruces to El Paso, Texas. A short time later, a New Mexico State Police trooper stopped him for impeding traffic in a safety corridor. After the stop, HSI agents began an investigation of Pasillas Martinez, who agreed to speak to them.
Pasillas Martinez told agents that he was a Mexican national and had traveled to Las Cruces to attend the gun show and purchase a firearm because he knew vendors don’t ask for identification. Pasillas Martinez said that he purchased three or four rifles and a pistol to take to Mexico for sport shooting and that he planned to register them there. He identified himself as a Juarez municipal police officer and said he knew it was illegal to purchase firearms in the United States and export them to Mexico.
For more news and information on HSI El Paso’s efforts to aggressively defend public safety and national security in West Texas and the entire state of New Mexico, follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, @HSIElPaso.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’ largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.
A criminal complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted on the current charges, Pasillas Martinez faces up to 15 years in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Saltman is prosecuting the case.