Timothy L. Wright, 70, of Georgetown, pleaded guilty Thursday in Austin to engaging in the business of dealing firearms without a license and making false statements to a government agent.
Dozens of the guns he sold ended up in Mexico, where cartels continue to fight each other in turf wars over lucrative smuggling routes.
“While sworn to uphold the law, Judge Timothy Wright repeatedly violated federal laws governing the sale of firearms. He sold dozens of firearms without license, many of which went to people smuggling them to Mexico. He also falsified official firearms records to hide the true identity of the real buyer. These are serious crimes for which he is being held accountable,” acting United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr. said in a press release.
In September, federal authorities contacted Wright about the problem and he agreed to stop selling weapons until he had a license. He applied for one and received training, including why you shouldn't sell guns to folks with felony convictions.
But in December, Wright admitted to selling a gun and fraudulently filling out a form stating he was the actual buyer of two Glock firearms, when in truth he had already received payment from a buyer. He falsely told the federal government he was not buying the weapons for someone else.
This is commonly called straw purchasing and its a method frequently used by gun runners who have less than rosy backgrounds.
And he kept lying about the sales and whether convicted felons were present during transactions.
“Today’s guilty plea of Timothy L. Wright, Williamson County Judge, sends a strong message that Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) will not tolerate the unlawful sale of firearms, regardless of the defendant’s position or status,” James Spero, Special Agent in Charge, HSI San Antonio, said in a press release. “These serious gun charges are a breach of that public trust which puts the safety of our communities at risk.”
He faces 60 months in federal prison.
A Williamson County judge admitted to selling more than 60 firearms since last June, some of which made their way to gun runners smuggling the weapons into Mexico, the federal government announced.