A drug war in Mexico has spilled over into the United States.
The kidnapping capital of this hemisphere is now Phoenix. And Mexican gangs are engaged in a drug war in Atlanta.
But the Department of Homeland Security says it is striking back. Agents conducted three seizures of weapons in Arizona and Texas in the past several days, designed to intercept illegal guns and ammunition near the border.
Customs and Border agents confiscated 10 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition believed headed for Mexico on southwestern Arizona. And in Pharr, Texas, agents found rifle barrels, firearm accessories and gun powder in a tractor-trailer also at the border bound for Mexico.
Finally, agents in Laredo discovered a collection of weapons and ammunition hidden in a second truck destined for Mexico.
Interestingly, in the past, most of the interdiction involved people and contraband attempting to cross the border into the United States.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says stopping the southbound flow of weapons is critical in the fight against violent drug cartels.
“We are continuing to find new ways to fight recent increases in illegal weapons trafficking to Mexico, and I applaud the officers and agents who work to prevent these illegal weapons from crossing the border," she said.
Agents in Arizona found five SKS rifles, two AK-47 rifles, two semi-automatic .9 mm pistols and one CVA .50 rifle, along with several thousands of ammunition rounds hidden in an ice chest. The two men in the truck, a U.S. citizen and a legal permanent resident from Mexico, were arrested.
In Pharr, officers stopped a commercial tractor-trailer with Mexican registration at the Pharr/Reynosa International Bridge and discovered 19 bottles of gun powder, 9,000 pistol primers, 1,100 bullet reloads and two rifle barrels.
Officers in Laredo arrested a U.S. citizen attempting to drive over the Lincoln-Juarez Bridge after a cache of gun parts, accessories and ammunition was discovered hidden in the truck’s side panels and gas tank.
The seizures represent an active response by DHS along the United States’ southern border to combat the smuggling of firearms to Mexico, where a recent surge in violence has been fueled largely by guns and ammunition trafficked from the U.S.
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