Odessa woman sentenced for false statements during gun purchases

(Pixabay via MGN)
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 10:18 AM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) -An Odessa woman was sentenced in a Midland federal court Wednesday to 18 months in prison for providing false statements during purchases of firearms.

According to court documents, Delma Vitela, 45, purchased at least six guns between December 2020 and March 2022 from various gun stores in the Midland/Odessa area for her then-boyfriend, a Mexican national.

Vitela’s then-boyfriend was prohibited from possessing firearms based on his immigration status. By saying on the purchase forms that she was the intended buyer of the guns, Vitela knowingly made false statements. In March 2022, a person was stopped by law enforcement in Laredo, Texas while attempting to cross into Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

This man had in his possession two firearms that Vitela had Straw purchase, one of which she’d purchased less than two weeks prior. Vitela was arrested by federal authorities on Oct. 21, 2022, and was released on bond on Oct. 26.

“Straw purchasing is not an act of love; it is an act that fuels violence across our country and our neighbors,” said Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey C. Boshek II for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Dallas Field Division. “ATF and our partners in the Permian Basin are steadfast in our fight to keep firearms out of the hands of those that shouldn’t have them. Ms. Vitela thought she was being a good girlfriend when she was actually helping to arm vicious Mexican drug cartels. I hope that others don’t make this same mistake.”