El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Stanton Street international crossing at the El Paso port of entry made an ammunition and weapons magazine seizure Tuesday, March 29.
The seizure was made at about 4:55 p.m. while CBP officers and U.S. Border Patrol agents were conducting southbound operations at the Stanton crossing. CBP officers selected a 1999 Chevrolet Express conversion van for an intensive exam. The driver of the vehicle said he had nothing to declare during routine questioning by a CBP officer.
The vehicle was taken to an inspection area where an extensive exam of the vehicle was conducted. CBP officers discovered 148 AK-47 magazines, one M4 magazine and 6,000 rounds of ammunition concealed in the upper front roof compartment of 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 Barry Miller, CBP assistant port director El Paso, Texas. "Our ongoing southbound inspections have resulted in seizures of weapons, ammunition, tactical equipment, unreported currency, stolen property, and the apprehension of fugitives and people who were in the country illegally."
The driver, 38-year-old Jose Guadalupe Hernandez Loya was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents after federal prosecution was accepted. Hernandez Loya is a Mexican National who resides in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. He remains in the El Paso County jail without bond.
CBP Field Operations is responsible for securing our borders at the ports of entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers' primary mission is anti-terrorism; they screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States. Their mission also includes carrying out traditional border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration law, protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases, and enforcing trade laws.
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.