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Feds say 2 Las Cruces men cut power lines to El Paso gun shops to break in & steal firearms

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Police at Drake Fine Arms on N. Mesa Street.

UPDATE #3, Sept. 9: The two Las Cruces men accused of taking part in gun store burglaries in El Paso allegedly admitted to the thefts and to selling some of the weapons, according to a federal arrest affidavit obtained by ABC-7.

ATF agents claim that 37-year old Ruben Orona and 32-year old Victor Medina admitted to the burglaries and bragged about cutting power lines and rendering surveillance cameras useless to make their way into the stores.

The affidavit goes on to describe how the pair allegedly sold several of their 32 stolen guns, including one that was later tied to a drive-by shooting in Doña Ana County.

UPDATE #2, Sept. 2: Federal authorities announced Wednesday the arrests of two Las Cruces men accused of stealing weapons from El Paso gun shops, with one of the stolen firearms allegedly used in a drive-by shooting.

Ruben Orona, 37, and Victor Medina, 32, are accused in a federal criminal complaint of being "responsible for a string of gun store burglaries" last month that netted 32 firearms from Drakes Fine Sporting Arms and Sportsman’s Elite in El Paso.

The federal complaint also contends that "one of the stolen firearms, a .45 pistol which was later recovered by law enforcement, was used in a drive-by shooting in Doña Ana County on August 24."

The two men each face up to a decade in prison if convicted.

UPDATE, Aug. 21: The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is offering a $10,000 reward to solve a pair of burglaries at west El Paso gun shops earlier this month.

Authorities said eight firearms were stolen on Aug. 11 from Drakes Fine Sporting Arms at 4000 N. Mesa Street, and 15 more firearms were taken on Aug. 16 from Sportsman’s Elite at 4520 Doniphan Drive.

"Every day that these stolen firearms remain on the streets of El Paso increases the chances of them being used in a violent crime. If you know something, please say something,” said ATF Special Agent Jeffrey Boshek.

The ATF said anyone with any information about these gun thefts can contact ATF by calling 1-888-ATF-TIPS, emailing ATFTips@atf.gov, or by visiting atf.gov/contact/atftips.

ORIGINAL REPORT, Aug. 11: EL PASO, Texas -- A west El Paso gun store was burglarized Tuesday, but a police spokesman could provide no details about the crime.

After media inquiries, police confirmed the burglary that took place at Drake Fine Sporting Arms.

The gun shop is located in the 4000 block of North Mesa Street.

But authorities didn't say what was stolen and a spokesman indicated the report on the burglary hadn't yet been completed and filed.

El Paso / New Mexico / News / Top Stories / Video

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.

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