HomeNewsBriefMexico Detains US Trucker With Ammo Stash
BRIEF

Mexico Detains US Trucker With Ammo Stash

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 19 APR 2012 BY MIKE KANE EN

Mexican authorities detained a U.S. trucker at the southwest border, after finding more than 250,000 rounds of ammunition for the assult rifles of choice of Mexico's criminal gangs.

Mexican officials say the 37-year-old man from Dallas, Texas who was crossing the border into Ciudad Juarez, told Customs he had nothing to declare, but an x-ray examination of his vehicle showed he was carrying 268,000 bullets for AR-15 and AK-47 assault rifles.

Mexican authorities say the driver told officials he was planning to sell the ammo in Juarez to two members of a criminal group,according to the El Diario de Juarez newspaper.

However, the trucker's employer told the that the driver had made an honest mistake. Demco Trans. Inc., based in Arlington, Texas, and the supposed recipient of the shipment, a gun store in Arizona, said the driver made a wrong turn after making a delivery in El Paso and ended up on the border.  He did not intend to cross, they allege, and when he explained his mistake to the agents and asked if he could turn around, they refused and arrested him.

US agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) arrived in Mexico this morning to further investigate the issue.

InSight Crime Analysis

In a joint project in 2011, InSight Crime examined the flood of illegal weapons entering Mexico from the US. The 7.62mm bullets in the trucker's cargo is ammo for AK-47s, an assault rifle so favored by Mexican gangs that it has a nickname: “cuerno de chivo,” or “goat’s horn,” named for its curved magazine.

Because weapons and ammunition are banned in Mexico, criminal groups frequently use buyers in US border states to purchase supplies. And because bullets have no serial numbers and are difficult to trace, buyers for Mexican groups have special incentive to purchase ammunition in bulk. Last year, Tijuana police reported seizing double the number of bullets in 2011 compared to 2008, although it is not clear how many of those were traced back to the US. Similarly, in Arizona ammunition seizures increased some 125 percent between 2007 and 2011.

During the North American Leaders' Summit earlier this month, Mexican President Felipe Calderón hinted that the Obama administration's efforts at curtailing arms trafficking at the border were insufficient. Calderón has consistently called for stricter gun control laws in the US to stem the flow of weapons and ammunition into Mexico. If this latest incident involving a US trucker should prove to be another case of ammo-smuggling, it could turn into another point of tension between the two countries.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

MÉXICO / 25 MAR 2022

According to the Mexican president, the recent arrest of the alleged leader of the Northeast Cartel followed by a major…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 20 OCT 2022

An arms trafficking investigation involving the Episcopal Church has caused a scandal in Haiti.

HOMICIDES / 28 JAN 2021

Nineteen people shot and burned in a Mexico border state near Texas is a macabre reminder that migrants being smuggled…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…