Jul 10, 7:55 PM EDT

Guilty plea in cross-border arms trafficking case

PHOENIX (AP) -- A 23-year-old New Mexico man has pleaded guilty to one count of fraud and one count of forgery in a major arms trafficking case in Arizona.

Attorney General Terry Goddard says Victor Varela of Columbus, N.M., entered the plea Thursday in Maricopa County Superior Court.

According to court documents, Varela fraudulently purchased through a confidential informant two .50-caliber rifles for more than $6,700 in September.

The attorney general's office says Varela also sought to purchase several handguns and attempted to purchase a fully automatic M-60 machine gun for $30,000. Several weapons connected to Varela were traced to crimes committed in Mexico by drug cartels.

Varela faces sentencing Aug. 12. He could get up to 2 1/2 years in prison and seven years of probation

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