Tempe man accused of running gun-smuggling ring

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Agents seized a number of weapons following the execution of six federal search warrants related to the investigation. By Jennifer Thomas Agents seized a number of weapons following the execution of six federal search warrants related to the investigation. By Jennifer Thomas
Federal agents discuss the ongoing search of Edward Hossa's Tempe home. By Jennifer Thomas Federal agents discuss the ongoing search of Edward Hossa's Tempe home. By Jennifer Thomas
By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX -- A Tempe man is accused of running a weapons smuggling ring and attempting to export the guns to Mexico.

Edward Hossa, 54, was arrested Thursday along with three co-conspirators.

Agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested the suspects while serving six federal search warrants in the Phoenix area.

Hossa is facing federal charges for fraudulently purchasing a variety of firearms from licensed dealers in Glendale, Apache Junction and Mesa from July through November. He is also charged with illegally attempting to export the weapons to Mexico and with being an unlicensed dealer of firearms.

"Weapons traffickers seek profits built on the bloodshed in Mexico," said Matt Allen, special agent in charge of ICE's Homeland Security Investigations in Arizona. "ICE is standing firm with our partners from the ATF and the U.S. Attorney's Office to stop the flow of weapons south of the border."

Luis Gabriel Valenzuela, 36, of Phoenix; Jeremy Ray Hossa, 36, of Tempe; and Lynda Marie Yarrow, 26, of Tempe are each facing charges of fraudulently purchasing firearms on Edward Hossa's behalf. According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Arizona, Edward Hossa induced the three other suspects to act as "straw purchasers" of firearms.

Valenzuela is accused of buying five handguns in July and November at two different stores in Glendale. Jeremy Ray Hossa reportedly purchased four rifles and one handgun in Apache Junction in September and Yarrow reportedly purchased two handguns in Mesa in November.

"Weapon smuggling rings fuel the violence south of the border," said U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke. "'Straw purchasers' disregard the consequences for the allure of the quick cash. They can't claim ignorance to their direct contribution to the bloodshed."