Salvador Man Snagged in Arms and Drugs Sting

Caught selling C-4 and automatic rifles

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    A man who tried to sell plastic explosives, automatic rifles, and ammunition to an undercover federal agent pled guilty in Alexandria court to federal terrorism charges.

    Known as "el Capitan," 32-year-old Hector Antonio Martinez-Guillen was a former officer in the Salvadoran military.

    The Salvadoran arms dealer was "trying to supply a foreign terrorist organization with military-grade weapons intended to kill American military personnel in Colombia," U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said.

    In pleading guilty to providing material support to a terrorist organization, Martinez-Guillen told the court that he had been attempting to sell weapons to an undercover federal agent he thought was a member of FARC.  FARC, also known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia, is a large and well-equipped insurgent group that has battled the Colombian government for decades.  The group is responsible for a campaign of kidnappings and bombings there.

    C-4 explosives and blasting caps were part of the cache of arms that Martinez-Guillen attempted to sell.  As part of the sting, Martinez-Guillen was asked to transport 20 kilograms of cocaine from D.C. to New York in 2010.  He was arrested in eastern Virginia in possession of the drugs.

    Although the charge against Martinez-Guillen could bring a life prison sentence, as part of his plea deal, he will receive no more than 45 years.