Angel Lorenzo Medel
Inocensia Medel Banos
Ramiro Alejandro Garcia Roman's house in Winston-Salem, which federal agents raided in July.
Romiro Alejandro Roman
Winston-Salem, NC -- Three people are accused of smuggling firearms and ammunition from the Triad to Mexico after a federal investigation.
Federal court documents show Angel Medel Lorenzo, Inocensia Medel Banos and Ramiro Alejandro Garcia Roman were indicted by a federal grand jury on July 31 for trying to "defraud, smuggle and attempt to smuggle firearms, ammunition and firearm accessories from Winston-Salem" into Mexico. The recently-unsealed indictment accuses them of wrapping guns in plastic bags and black tape, and ammunition in aluminum foil or electrical tape, in order to conceal them from X-ray scanners at the border.
Federal agents raided Roman's Winston-Salem home last month and seized guns and ammunition. When WFMY News 2 talked with Roman the day after the raid, he said the guns agents seized belonged to a friend. The federal documents show that very well could be the case, but investigators accuse him of helping wrap up those guns and disguise them so they'd be hard to detect as they were smuggled across the border into Mexico.
In fact, they say his basement served as a sort of hub where guns would be stored before they'd be driven south. Roman, who is 55, was being held in the Forsyth County Detention Center under no bond. He's charged with "conspiracy to smuggle goods from the United States."
So are Lorenzo and Banos, who are father and daughter. Documents accuse him of running the whole organization, setting up people to drive the guns and ammo to Mexico and at one time even smuggling drugs back in to the US. Investigators said Banos, who's only 18, was the lookout. Both were being held at the Alamance County Detention Center.
Along Sprague Street, people say Roman has lived here since the mid-'90s. They say he's always been a pretty good neighbor, and they're not ready to heap judgement on him.
"Mr. Roman does not speak English," neighbor Tom Gallagher said. "He may not be aware of what's legal and illegal in the United States. So he may have just been letting somebody stay in his basement and helping [them] out with things that they were doing, not really being aware that what was going on was illegal."
Judging from the documents, investigators started looking in to Lorenzo's operation a little more than a year ago.
WFMY News 2