San Juan traffic stop leads to seizure of Mexico-bound ammunition

San Juan Police Department Photo

San Juan Police told Action 4 News the ammunition seized during a routine traffic stop is used on .50 caliber sniper rifles.

It TMs pretty scary to have that much ammunition and that much coming through the streets of San Juan, Sgt. Rolando Garcia said.

Bound together, police said these rounds are not meant for just a sniper rifle because the rounds are belt-fed"which means they TMre set on a turret mounted weapon system.

These systems are usually found on heavy artillery machines like tanks.

"They're going to be coming at you a lot! It's full on---it's very dangerous the way that they're mounted right now," Garcia said.

Garcia said police agencies in the Rio Grande Valley are not equipped to battle against criminals with this type of weaponry.

"This is something most departments down here won't be able to fight, Garcia said. This is something no valley agency is equipped to go against or fight."

While it is not illegal to possess ammunition"it is illegal to transport it to Mexico and that is exactly where police said this ammo was headed.

"This is 1700 rounds that could potentially kill officers here in the U.S. and in Mexico, Garcia said. This is the type of ammunition that's being used to fight the police and Mexican military there. We were possibly able to save some live by having this stuff not cross over."

U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar said he knows there is a serious problem in Mexico.

"For anyone who thinks we can go in and solve this overnight it's not going to happen," Cuellar said.

He said, while the responsibility to protect the border lies with the Federal government, it is also part of the day-to-day routine of local law enforcement.

He added that now, more than ever, the federal government needs to work to supply these local agencies with more money to fight this ongoing battle.

Two suspects were arrested for attempting to transport the ammo---U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is now leading the investigation.

Court record show that both Miguel Avendano-Reyna and Jose Resendez-Olivares are being held under illegal immigration and federal firearms charges.