Michel Bacasegua-Barriga, the leader of a prolific transnational firearms trafficking organization operating in Nogales, Sonora, along the U.S.-Mexico border, was arrested last week by Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office, Fiscalía General de la República (FGR). The enforcement operation last week by the FGR is the result of extensive bilateral cooperation between the United States and Mexico. In addition to Bacasegua-Barriga’s arrest, the operation resulted in the seizure of firearms and ammunition.
Four U.S.-based coordinators and operators with alleged ties to the same firearms trafficking organization have been indicted. Jose Bacasegua-Barriga, Mike Anthony Gomez-Lozada, Marco Olguin-Torres, and Pedro Perez-Trujillo were indicted by a federal grand jury on firearms trafficking charges on December 8, 2022.
“I would like to commend our law enforcement partners, both here in the United States and in the Republic of Mexico, for their hard work on this investigation,” said U.S. Attorney Gary Restaino. “Stopping the flow of American firearms to Mexican drug-trafficking organizations will help break the cycle of violence, death, and destabilization. This joint investigation between our two countries demonstrates how much we can achieve together for our mutual benefit.”
This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) – Nogales led the investigation in the United States, working in concert with HSI-Tucson, HSI-Casa Grande, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – Phoenix, Drug Enforcement Administration – Nogales, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Arizona Department of Public Safety. Support by HSI – Mexico City, with the assistance of HSI’s Transnational Criminal Investigative Unit (TCIU) – Mexico, was critical in facilitating coordination between United States and Mexican law enforcement agencies. The United States Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Tucson, is prosecuting the four individuals named above.