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Selling Gun to an Illeagle Alien

Discussion in 'Politics, Elections & Legislation' started by tgs1420, Sep 15, 2010.

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  1. tgs1420

    tgs1420 TS Member

    Jan 29, 1998


    In Federal District Court on July 20, 2010, the ATF won a conviction from an Austin jury that defies logic and reason. In a trial before Federal Judge Sam Sparks, government lawyers conceded Texas resident Paul Copeland did not know his buyer was an illegal alien, but the jury they should convict him anyway because he "had reasonable cause to believe" he was selling to an illegal alien because the two men and a boy who were present at his table at the time of the sale: 1) were Hispanic, 2) spoke Spanish, and 3) wore cowboy clothing. And the jury did as asked. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Freel acted as lead prosecutor in the case.

    The firearm transaction at issue occurred on January 16, 2010, at a gun show at the North Austin Events Center , at 10601 N. Lamar Blvd. , in Austin , Texas . Undercover ATF agents followed Mr. Huerta, his son, and another Hispanic male, Hipolito Aviles, around the "Texas Gun show" that day, and claimed to observe Huertas transaction. Austin P.D. used Copeland’s case as the reason to close down the gun show, leading to a protest by Austin residents in front of APD headquarters on January 25.

    Mr. Copeland is a 56 year old Cedar Creek resident and Vietnam veteran who liked to buy, sell, and trade firearms as a hobby. On January 16, however, he had the misfortune to sell a handgun to Leonel Huerta Sr., who spoke both English and Spanish. Huerta Sr. negotiated his purchase from Copeland in English, showing Copeland his Texas Drivers License. At Copeland’s trial Huerta admitted on the witness stand, that he is in the country illegally, (Huerta Sr. had previously admitted this fact to Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent Leo Buentello). ATF Agent Shawn Kang claimed he saw Huerta later hand off the gun to Aviles . Despite these admissions, Huerta Sr. was never arrested, charged, or deported. Instead, his presence at the gun show was used to entrap an American citizen into an unwitting violation of a federal gun control law. Huerta Sr., who is a resident of the City of Austin, appeared as a witness at the trial, admitted he was in the country illegally before federal prosecutors and a federal judge, yet he was allowed to leave the courtroom under his own power. To date Huerta Sr. has not been prosecuted for his purchase, possession, or disposition of the handgun he bought from Copeland, while Copeland is now a convicted felon.

    "Instead of busting the illegal alien for buying, they bust the citizen for selling," commented Paul Velte, attorney and founder of Peaceable Texans for Firearms Rights, a gun-owners' rights advocacy group from Austin . Velte asked, "Who was in a better position to know the buyers immigration status, the buyer or the seller?" He also said, "What happened to Paul Copeland should enrage all Americans. The Federal Government is using illegal aliens to entrap citizens lawfully exercising their right to sell firearms. The illegal alien walks free, but the citizen gets convicted. The same government charged with controlling immigration is the one using illegal immigrants to attack its own citizens. Does this make any sense? It makes no sense unless the purpose is to discourage attendance at gun shows and frighten citizens from selling their firearms to other citizens."

    Velte pointed out that "There is no way for a citizen to know who is here legally or not. In fact, under Austin’s sanctuary city policy, not even the police officer at the door of the gun show was allowed to ask a person’s immigration status, yet the average Texan inside the show is expected to assume that a person standing before them with a Texas drivers license is in the country illegally just because they look Mexican and speak Spanish." Velte noted that the federal government’s lawsuit against Arizona was based on that very type of conduct: Concluding someone could be here illegally based on their looks or their language. Velte said gun owners in his group are outraged, and they want to know:

    Why is the illegal alien who purchased the gun, Leonel Huerta Sr., still living in Austin ?

    Why does he still have a Texas Drivers license?

    Why is ATF using illegal aliens to set up and convict American citizens?

    What has he been promised for his cooperation?

    Why has he not been prosecuted? He committed three distinct crimes: he purchased a firearm knowing he was an illegal alien, he possessed the firearm, and he transferred the handgun to another illegal alien (Hippolito Aviles, who was convicted and given time served on June 30, 2010).

    Why has Huerta Sr. not been deported?

    Judge Sparks sentenced Copeland on August 27 to six months confinement and 24 months of probation, and called Copeland "a liar" for not admitting guilt. ATF confiscated Copeland’s entire gun collection and initiated forfeiture proceedings. Copeland was also fired from his job due to the indictment, and he would have lost his home to foreclosure, if not for his family stepping in to pay his mortgage while he serves his sentence.
  2. Jack Frost

    Jack Frost TS Member

    Feb 16, 2009

  3. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2007
    Wow, looks like the feds like to play both sides of the racial profiling fence.

    On one hand a guy gets convicted of selling a gun to a wetback because he sould have know the guy was illegal based on appearances and language but on the otherhand they have a big problem with a Arizona arresting illegals because of the possibility that they are profiling them first.

    Very confusing ....
  4. W.R.Buchanan

    W.R.Buchanan Member

    Dec 19, 2009
    Ojai CA
    Send it to O'Reilly, He'll have a field day with this one.

    I wouldn't think this could possibly hold up on appeal, unless there is something missing we don't know about.

    This is another reason to not show up for Jury Duty which we discussed last week. The idea of being judged by 12 MORONS who couldn't get out of jury duty is scary. Isn't this a real good example of why?

    When people can't thin, and just do what they are told without question, they shouldn't be allowed to take part in the running of society.

    I'm all for a test when you register to vote. Fail,,,FU! Go away. There really needs to be some standards beyond "No Felonious Convictions."

  5. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    One point that needs to be made crystal clear is whether Paul Copeland knew he was committing a straw sale when Huerta Sr negotiated the sale and used his ID on behalf of Aviles. Some reports read like this happened strictly afterwards. Other read like it was obvious to Copeland before the sale. This is a crucial point and it needs to be made more clear one way or the other.

    Even if a straw sale was knowingly involved, this still does not justify the government not dealing with an illegal alien purchasing a firearm. You can directly blame the Obama Administration for this.
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