Bruce James Lyles, a 35-year-old resident of Laredo, has confessed to unlawfully possessing a loaded 9-millimeter handgun, according to an announcement by U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
On December 8, 2023, Lyles was stopped at the Border Patrol checkpoint on IH-35 just north of Laredo. A K-9 alerted authorities to his van, leading to a search where they found a 9-millimeter pistol with a magazine loaded with 12 rounds of ammunition in Lyles’ backpack.
Lyles admitted that he was aware of his prohibition from owning firearms due to his prior felony convictions in Minnesota for robbery and second-degree assault. These convictions resulted in prison sentences of 23 and 30 months, respectively, making him ineligible to possess firearms or ammunition under federal law.
The pistol was purchased at a pawn shop in Anchorage, Alaska, and Lyles had placed it in his backpack. U.S. District Judge Diana Saldaña will determine his sentencing at a later date. Lyles faces a potential maximum sentence of 15 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
He will remain in custody until his sentencing, which will be scheduled later. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives led the investigation with the assistance of Border Patrol.