Weapon used in Matamoros murder, kidnapping of four Americans came from U.S.

A Cruz Roja Mexicana ambulance of Matamoros, Mexico, successfully transports two surviving kidnapped U.S. citizens to Brownsville Fire Department EMS ambulances through Veterans International Bridge at Los Tomates in Brownsville Tuesday, March 7, 2023. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)

One of the weapons used in the fatal kidnapping of four American citizens in Matamoros was linked to a Valley man who was arrested over the weekend.

Roberto Lugardo-Moreno was taken into federal custody on Saturday after he said he purchased firearms that were intended to be used by a Gulf Cartel member in Mexico, according to the federal complaint.

Lugardo-Moreno told federal agents he bought a Diamondback Arms DB 15-multi caliber AR style weapon on Oct. 17, 2019.

The serial number of that weapon matched the serial number of the gun recovered by Mexican authorities that was involved in the murder and kidnappings of Shaeed Woodard and Zindell Brown, who died in the attack, and Eric Williams and Latavia McGee, who survived, after they were all taken by armed men on March 3.

The weapon was one of many others Lugardo-Moreno knowingly and illegally purchased for the cartel, the criminal complaint stated.

According to Lugardo-Moreno, he was paid $100 for the purchase.

He was charged with conspiring to illegally export guns from the United States and appeared before a federal judge in Brownsville on Monday morning for his initial appearance.

The defendant requested an attorney and will be appearing before the judge again for a detention hearing later this week.