Federal prosecutors say Tyler man was in US illegally with gun, dealing drugs

Crime & Public Safety


TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A Mexican National who federal prosecutors say was in the United States illegally and using a gun while trafficking drugs has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison.

Ramiro Ortiz Perez, 35, Tyler, pleaded guilty on Jan. 7, to being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. He was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Jeremy Kernodle.

He was was originally arrested last year in Smith County.

“Ortiz Perez knew that he was in the United States illegally and admitted that he possessed the pistol in furtherance of his drug trafficking activities,” said a statement from the federal court system.

“This investigation by Homeland Security Investigations is a reminder that possession of firearms by those not legally permitted to possess them, especially in connection with illegal narcotics trafficking, is a direct threat to the safety of our communities,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei. “Our office, together with HSI, will continue to vigorously uphold the law.”

This case was prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative aimed at reducing gun and gang violence; deterring illegal possession of guns, ammunition, and body armor; and improving the safety of residents in the Eastern District of Texas.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, and the Texas Anti-Gang Center of East Texas and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Jackson.

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