McAllen, Texas - A Mexican man, living illegally in Laredo, was convicted Tuesday for possessing a firearm in violation of federal law, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas.

This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with the assistance of Laredo Police Department.

Jose Angel Villarreal-Sanchez, 42, of Mexico, pleaded guilty Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo.  Federal law prohibits illegal aliens from possessing firearms.

According to court documents, following a tip, law enforcement went to Villarreal-Sanchez’s home in Laredo on May 14, 2015, where he had been living illegally for some time. It was there that HSI special agents discovered that he possessed a firearm in his bedroom. A criminal complaint was filed the following day which further detailed that special agents had also found three baggies of cocaine hidden in some chicken feed in Villarreal-Sanchez’s backyard.

Villarreal-Sanchez has been in custody since his arrest in May where he will remain pending his sentencing hearing, set for December 7. At that time, he faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jose Homero Ramirez, Southern District of Texas, is prosecuting this case.