Pharr, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and U.S. Border Patrol agents working southbound enforcement operations at the Pharr International Bridge seized 11 assault rifles and 113 ammunition magazines yesterday evening.
On September 7, CBP officers and Border Patrol agents working outbound enforcement operations at the Pharr International Bridge came in contact with a 1992 Ford F-150 pickup truck that was traveling south headed into Mexico. At contact, the male driver was identified as a 19-year-old Mexican citizen from Pharr, Texas. A CBP officer referred the driver and vehicle to secondary for further inspection. In secondary, officers seized 11 assault rifles and 113 ammunition magazines that were found hidden within the vehicle. The pickup truck was seized by CBP.
The southbound traveler was transferred to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) for further investigation.
"The seizure of the rifles and ammunition illustrates that local federal agencies are working day and night to put a halt to the smuggling of these dangerous items without a license," said Jerry Robinette, special agent-in-charge for ICE-HSI San Antonio. "One of ICE's top enforcement priorities is preventing weapons and ammunition from falling into the hands of those who might seek to harm both sides of the U.S. and Mexican border communities."
Leticia Moran, CBP director, Laredo field operations said, "I commend our frontline officers for their roles and efforts in intercepting and seizing this significant number of assault rifles and accessories that were headed into Mexico." Moran further said, "CBP continues to work with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to prevent the illegal exportation of weapons, ammunition and bulk cash currency. This is an example of how our partnership works together to secure our nations borders and the communities in which we live and work."
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.