Sterling Man Goes to Federal Prison for Gun Smuggling

Joan Manuel Ramirez Lema, 41, of Sterling, was sentenced today to 20 months in prison for charges related to smuggling guns from the United States to Bolivia.

According to court documents, from 2010 to 2015, Ramirez Lema smuggled 115 firearms from the United States to Bolivia. Ramirez Lema, a U.S. citizen, concealed the weapons in door panels of used vehicles he shipped across the border using freight forwarding companies in Baltimore, MD, and Newark, NJ. He told investigators that he usually purchased between two and three guns a month and bought most of the guns in Leesburg and Sterling.

Ramirez Lema pleaded guilty Sept. 22.