DENVER (AP) — A Mexican national has been sentenced to more than three years in prison in a plot to smuggle automatic weapons to Mexico’s Zetas drug cartel.

Joel Ernesto Pena was sentenced in federal court Wednesday. Three others have pleaded guilty to traveling from Texas to Colorado to buy assault rifles with money provided by the cartel.

The Denver Post reports that federal agents arrested the four in a Pueblo sting operation in October as they tried to buy rifles.

The defendants admitted planning to take the weapons back to Texas to transfer to the Zetas.

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