LOS ANGELES (AP) — Three Philippine nationals caught in an FBI sting operation in their native country have been convicted of importing military-grade weapons to the United States.
A federal jury in Los Angeles convicted 26-year-old Sergio Syjuco (sy-ZHU'-koh) and two others of conspiring to illegally import the weapons. They could get 20 years in prison at sentencing in June.
The men were indicted after authorities seized weapons at a Southern California port in 2011.
The weapons, including a grenade launcher, were sold to an undercover FBI agent who said he wanted high-powered arms for North American drug cartels.
The case earned international attention because defense lawyers contended the FBI agent spent U.S. taxpayer dollars on prostitutes. The agent denied the allegations and the judge rejected a motion to throw out the case.