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Detention Center Employees Plead Guilty To Gun Charges

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LAREDO, Texas (AP) – Six of the seven Laredo residents who pleaded guilty to illegally buying guns Monday worked at a federal detention center.

Federal prosecutors say the six worked at the Rio Grande Detention Center in Laredo. The center is privately managed by The Geo Group and holds federal detainees awaiting trial for the U.S. Marshals Service. The seventh was a close friend of one of them.

Prosecutors alleged that in 2011, the group acquired 16 guns, mostly semi-automatic rifles of the sort preferred by organized criminal groups in Mexico. In the purchases, they indicated they were buying the guns for their own use. However, they were being paid to buy them for someone else, a tactic known as straw purchases.

Prosecutors indicated that Geo Corrections cooperated in the federal investigation.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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