Douglas, Ariz. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection assisted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when CBP officers stopped an attempted illegal exportation of 8,700 rounds of 7.62 caliber ammunition designed for assault rifles.
"This is an excellent example of multiple agencies working together for one cause," said Michael Humphries, area port director for the Douglas and Naco entries. "Each branch of law enforcement has its own focus, but when it comes to national security the message is clear; we will band together against any one or anything that threatens our nation's stability. U.S. Customs and Border Protection remains vigilant and committed."
On Feb. 11, at approximately 9 p.m., CBP officers were screening travelers for possible export violations while performing outbound operations on traffic going from the U.S. into Mexico. With the assistance of ATF agents a 2002 Chevy Monte Carlo, driven by a 19-year-old man from Tucson, was selected for inspection. The CBP officers searched the vehicle and discovered that the driver and his passenger, an 18-year-old woman from Tucson, had 580 boxes of 7.62 caliber ammunition hidden inside the quarter panels of the vehicle.
CBP officers seized 8,700 rounds of ammunition and the vehicle and arrested both the driver and passenger in connection with the failed smuggling attempt. The man and the woman were turned over to special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms for further investigation and prosecution.
In March of 2009, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced outbound operations as part of several Southwest border initiatives designed to crack down on Mexican drug cartels through enhanced security. Since the implementation of outbound operations, the ports of Arizona have seen record illicit currency and weapons seizures.
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.