El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Bridge of the Americas International crossing at the El Paso port of entry made a weapons and ammo seizure Wednesday, January 13. CBP officers discovered weapons, ammunition and ammunition magazines inside a vehicle.
The seizure was made at about 5:40 p.m. Wednesday while CBP officers and U.S. Border Patrol agents were conducting southbound operations at BOTA. CBP officers selected a 1993 Ford E150 for an intensive exam. The driver of the vehicle said he had nothing to declare during routine questioning by a CBP officer.
CBP officers initiated an exam and noticed ammunition boxes concealed inside a wall panel of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a separate inspection area where an extensive inspection of the vehicle was conducted. CBP officers discovered two AK-47 rifles, 4000 rounds of ammunition and several high capacity magazines concealed throughout the vehicle.
"CBP officers at the port of El Paso are working hard to disrupt the criminal smuggling organizations' activity. This is another good example of our officers' vigilance and attention to detail," said William "Bill" Molaski, CBP port director in El Paso, Texas.
The driver, 24-year-old Daniel Avalos Ruiz was turned over to ICE special agents after federal prosecution was accepted. Avalos Ruiz is a Mexican National who resides in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. He remains in the El Paso County jail without bond.
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.