EAGLE PASS, Texas – Federal authorities at the Eagle Pass Port of Entry intercepted a load of assault rifles and ammunition bound for Mexico Friday. In an unrelated incident Thursday, inspection of outbound traffic turned up a man wanted for alleged weapons smuggling.
“The Eagle Pass POE Enforcement Team is made up of U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers from the Port of Entry and U.S. Border Patrol agents,” said Cynthia O. Rodriguez, CBP Port Director, Eagle Pass. “They bring together unique skill sets that allow us to maximize our effectiveness.”
“Preventing weapons like these from being smuggled into Mexico deprives criminal organizations of the tools of their trade.”
Friday morning, the POE Enforcement Team was conducting outbound inspections at Eagle Pass International Bridge I when a 1995 Ford F-150 pickup truck arrived, bound for Mexico. Using non-intrusive imaging equipment to inspect the pickup, Enforcement Team members discovered a cache of weapons hidden in the vehicle. Team members seized a total of 18 AK-47 assault rifles, along with 17 magazines, and 4,029 rounds of ammunition.
In an unrelated incident the previous evening, the Enforcement Team inspected a taxi as it left the United States headed to Mexico. During routine inspection, Enforcement Team members learned that a passenger in the vehicle was the subject of an FBI warrant, and was also wanted on weapons smuggling charges. The passenger, a 28-year-old Del Rio man, was turned over to the FBI.
The Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within U.S. Customs and Border Protection tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation’s ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.
Working together, Office of Field Operations and U.S. Border Patrol are integral to the South Texas Campaign, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations.