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3 get prison for trying to buy grenade launchers in Imperial Valley

December 16, 2011 |  6:57 pm

Three border-area men have been sentenced to five years in federal prison after being convicted of trying to buy grenade launchers from an undercover agent -- possibly to sell to a Mexican drug cartel.

The three met on multiple occasions with a federal agent in El Centro in an effort to buy M-203 grenade launchers and ammunition, according to court documents.

Yoahjan Lara Flores, 22, of Heber in the Imperial Valley; Arturo Lara, 22, of El Centro; and Alfredo Rubio Lara, 27, of Mexicali, Mexico, were sentenced in federal court in San Diego on Thursday.

"The criminals involved in this case rolled the dice against the law, lost and received the maximum sentence for their crimes," said John Torres, special agent in charge of the Los Angeles office of the U.S.  Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Sales of grenade launchers are restricted through the National Firearms Act.

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