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BP agents arrest U.S. citizens, seize 'assault rifle' during immigration stop west of Tucson

U.S. Border Patrol agents seized an AR-15 rifle and arrested five men Wednesday, including two U.S. citizens, southeast of Why, Ariz., authorities said. 

Around 9 p.m., Tucson Sector agents spotted several people "emerge from the desert" near the U.S.-Mexico border, and get into a Chevy pickup truck near Indian Route 1, a remote highway on the Tohono O'odham Nation, said Rob Daniels, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Border Patrol's parent agency.

Agents nearby pulled the truck over on the road, about 100 miles west of Tucson, and found three Mexican men suspected of being in the country illegally, Daniels said. Also in the truck was the loaded semi-automatic firearm, which was described as an "assault rifle" in a CBP press release.

All five men were arrested.  

The driver and the passenger of the truck, both U.S. citizens remain in custody, pending federal human smuggling charges, Daniels said. The rifle, ammunition and the truck were seized, he said. 

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Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

An AR-15 seized by U.S. Border Patrol agents during an immigration stop near Why, Arizona on Wednesday.