The owner of Danny’s Pawn and Sporting Goods pleaded not guilty Thursday to selling ammunition to people without legal status in the United States.
Daniel Gallegos, 67, of McAllen pleaded not guilty to five counts of unlawfully selling ammunition to a prohibited person during a hearing Thursday morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Juan F. Alanis.
Gallegos is accused of selling thousands of rounds of ammunition to “an alien illegally and unlawfully in the United States,” according to the indictment against him. He allegedly sold the ammunition in March, April and May 2020.
“Not guilty,” Gallegos said Thursday morning, when asked how he pleaded.
Gallegos is part owner of Danny’s Pawn and Sporting Goods in McAllen and Point Blank Sporting Goods in Pharr, according to documents filed with the Texas Secretary of State’s Office.
According to the indictment, Gallegos sold 2,180 rounds of ammunition on March 12, 2020, to “a prohibited person, knowing and having reasonable cause to believe that said person was then an alien illegally and unlawfully in the United States.”
Gallegos sold more ammunition on March 20, April 9, April 21 and May 27, according to the indictment. In every instance, Gallegos allegedly knew the person who purchased the ammunition was not lawfully present in the United States.
The indictment doesn’t identify the person or people who purchased the ammunition, reveal where the purchases took place or explain how the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives became aware of the incidents.
An ATF spokesman couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday morning.
“We’ve known about this for some time,” said attorney Crispin “CJ” Quintanilla of McAllen, who represents Gallegos. “We’ve been dealing with the government.”
The grand jury indicted Gallegos on Tuesday. He self-surrendered on Thursday.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Guerra, who is prosecuting the case, said the government had already turned over reports and recordings to Quintanilla as part of the discovery process.
Quintanilla said Gallegos planned to relinquish his ownership interests in Danny’s Pawn and Point Blank, which sell firearms.
Before he self-surrendered, Gallegos also had about 200 firearms, archery equipment and samurai swords removed from his house.
Alanis, the federal magistrate judge, set bond at $50,000 with no cash deposit required.
Along with standard bond conditions, Gallegos must not enter Danny’s Pawn or Point Blank and can’t participate in the sale or distribution of firearms. He’s also prohibited from excessive use of alcohol and traveling outside the Southern District of Texas.
“We agree to not enter or be present where there’s any firearms,” Quintanilla said, adding that Gallegos planned to work at another business that doesn’t sell guns.
Gallegos is scheduled to appear before U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa for a pretrial hearing on Feb. 7.
If convicted on the ammunition charges, Gallegos faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison.