Florida man pleads guilty to using mail for smuggling weapons

In a court hearing Friday, Brett Keith McGinnis pleaded true to one count of smuggling goods into the country, specifically firearms, ammunition and grenade cartridges, records show.

McGinnis, 44, of Ormond Beach, Florida, admitted he mailed ammunition, firearms and firearm parts, or caused them to be mailed to co-conspirators in McAllen who then would export them into Mexico, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas.

“From on or about May 12 through Sept. 13, 2018, federal agents seized more than 6,000 rounds of various caliber ammunition, 1,100 saw links (5.56mm), 35 firearm magazines, three firearms, multiple upper and lower receivers and other firearms accessories that were destined for Mexico,” the release states.

As part of his plea, the Florida man also admitted to shipping 60 “practice” M781 grenade cartridges (40mm) and firearms prior to May 2018 that were intended to be exported into Mexico. M781 practice rounds are considered explosive materials requiring a federal explosives license to transport.

McGinnis did not possess such a license to transport explosives or to export defense articles.

U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez accepted the plea and has set sentencing for Feb. 12, 2021. At that time, McGinnis will face up to 10 years in prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

McGinnis, who has been free on bond since at least March 2019, was permitted to remain on bond pending sentencing hearing.