Gun smugglers headed south busted with thousands of ammunition rounds
Sat, 21 Sep 2013 18:57:57 GMT —
BROWNSVILLE-- Three men were arrested in connection to a weapon smuggling crime after they attempted to smuggle weapons and more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition from the U.S. into Mexico.
U.S. citizens Jorge Santana Jr. and Javier Gonzalez, along with Marui Palacio-Andrade, a Mexican national with a valid visitor TMs visa, were arrested on Thursday for the alleged crime.
According to court documents obtained by Action 4 News, the three were arrested for knowingly attempting to export three handguns, four handgun magazines and 6,040 rounds of rifle and handgun ammunition.
Palacio-Andrade was behind the wheel of a Ford F-250, when U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers referred them to secondary inspection.
The three told authorities they did not have weapons or ammunition with them.
Upon inspection, a .357 caliber Glock 32 pistol, a Ruger 9mm pistol, one .40 caliber Smith and Wesson pistol, .357 caliber magazine, two 9mm magazines, one Smith and Wesson .40 magazine, 5,440 cartridges of 7.62 caliber ammunition, 200 cartridges of .45 caliber ammunition, and 400 cartidges of .38 super caliber ammunition were all found inside the fuel tank of the F-250.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, Santana and Gonzalez admitted to wrapping the weapons and ammunition, concealing them and placing them in the fuel tank.
According to authorities, the men also knew it was illegal to export the weapons from the U.S. to Mexico.
According to court documents, Palacios admitted the vehicle was going to be transported back to Houston at a later date to smuggle weapons and ammunition for monetary gain again.
The three men appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Felix Recio for their initial appearance on Friday.
They are currently being held without bond and are scheduled for a preliminary hearing set for 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 24, 2013.
According to court records, the three will be appointed a court appointed attorney.