South Texas weapons smuggler sentenced to almost 8 years in prison

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LAREDO, Texas — A South Texas man has been sentenced to almost 8 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to a weapons charge for trying to smuggle weapons to Mexico's Zeta drug cartel.

A U.S. Attorney's statement says Richard John Medina received the 93-month sentence Wednesday in federal court in Laredo. A federal agent testified Wednesday that Medina had smuggled firearms and grenades into Mexico for the Zetas.

U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana ordered the 40-year-old Laredo man to remain in custody pending transfer to a federal prison.

Medina, who also was known as "El Guero," could have received a 10-year prison term for his Dec. 10 guilty plea to being a convicted felon possessing multiple firearms and grenades. He was previously convicted of marijuana possession in Williamson County, near Austin.

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