One such example came during an Arizona raid on Tuesday morning, where law enforcement agents arrested 20 people who are accused of illegally buying hundreds of firearms, including assault rifles at U.S. gun stores. Those defendants are accused of acting as "straw purchasers," whereby they falsely declare to be purchasing the weapons for themselves. Instead, the ultimate owners of the guns are Mexican drug cartels south of the border.
Dennis K. Burke, the U.S. attorney for Arizona, announced the raids at a press conference in Phoenix. He said, "The massive size of this operation exemplifies the magnitude of the problem — Mexican drug lords go shopping for war weapons in Arizona."
Officials say one buyer alone is accused of making six buys for the ring, purchasing 48 guns. In all, 560 of the ring's guns were recovered, a third in Mexico and the rest mostly in Arizona. All told, the ring consisted of 34 people, who purchased 700 weapons. All of those indicted are U.S. citizens or legal residents.