SANTA TERESA, N.M -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the Santa Teresa port of entry seized hundreds of rounds of ammunition and sixteen semi-automatic rifle magazines Wednesday afternoon.
The seizure, which resulted from an HIS-led investigation, occurred when a 2008 Dodge Durango operated by a female driver attempted to exit the port to Mexico. As part of an outbound enforcement operation, a CBP officer initiated a secondary examination and noticed irregularities in the appearance of the baggage located within the vehicle. A CBP canine team was called to screen the vehicle and the officer received an alert for the presence of ammunition from the dog. A detailed inspection of the vehicle and baggage resulted in the discovery of contraband. A total of 14 boxes totaling 700 bullets and 16 high-capacity semi-automatic rifle magazines were discovered and seized. The contraband was concealed in a backpack, duffel bag, and a case of soft drinks.
“Smugglers will use any means and anybody to attempt to mask their illegal activities,” said CBP Santa Teresa Area Port Director Ray Provencio. “Unfortunately this includes sordid tactics such as hiding ammunition in a child’s makeshift diaper bag and traveling with two children and a toddler in the vehicle.”
CBP officers arrested the driver, a 33-year-old female United States Citizen. She was turned over to ICE HSI special agents to face charges in connection with the failed outbound smuggling attempt
While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.