Pat Reavy for KSL writes:

Two men accused of threatening to kill a Utah man’s family if he didn’t purchase weapons for them have been charged in federal court with smuggling goods into the U.S. from Mexico.

In 2009, a Barrett .50-caliber rifle was recovered by authorities in Nogales, Mexico. The weapon was recovered in a truck stolen out of Scottsdale, Ariz., with three men inside.

Investigators soon discovered that the weapon they found in Mexico was purchased just eight days earlier on

The man who bought the rifle, whose name was not listed in court documents for fear of retribution, initially made up a story to authorities. He later admitted, however, that he gave the weapon to “apparent Mexican drug cartel associates” who tried to “convince” him at gunpoint on several occasions to buy the rifle for them because they couldn’t.

Cimaron Neugebauer for The Salt Lake Tribune adds:

In March 2011, a sporting goods store employee who bought the gun online initially told investigators he resold the weapon, according to the complaint. But he later admitted to giving the gun to an apparent Mexican drug cartel member who held him at gunpoint 7 to 10 times “to convince him to purchase the firearm,” according to the complaint.

The man said several Spanish speaking male customers who “seemed very friendly” would sporadically visit him asking about buying guns and ammunition, according to the complaint. He was the only Spanish-language speaking employee at the store, the complaint states.

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