Mexican man arrested for attempting to smuggle 7K rounds of ammo into Mexico
A federal investigation led to the arrest of a Mexican man in Nogales, Arizona, for allegedly attempting to smuggle 7,000 rounds of ammunition into Mexico on Saturday.
Eduvier Navidad-Vizcarra, 22, was arrested by agents with Homeland Security Investigations, a part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, after they pulled him over near the Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry in Nogales and found thousands of rounds of Aguila .38 Super rounds in boxes stashed in a speaker box behind the bench seat, said Yasmeen Pitts O'Keefe, a ICE spokeswoman.
According to court documents, around 2 p.m., HSI agents received a tip that a man driving a green Chevrolet Suburban had just purchased 7,000 rounds of ammunition from a store in Phoenix. HSI agents, along with agents with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives in Tucson, began looking for the vehicle, eventually spotting it about 90 minutes later, along Interstate 10 near Marana.
Agents followed the vehicle to a house in Tucson, where Navidad-Vizcarra, one of two men in the truck, took seven cases of ammunition from the Suburban and removed the smaller boxes, stashing them in the cab of a white Chevrolet pickup truck, wrote Robert Kilcoyne, a special agent with ATF, in court documents.
About a hour later, Navidad-Vizcarra drove down to Nogales and stopped at a store along Mariposa Road. During this time, Navidad-Vizcarra made several phone calls and "appeared to be having car trouble," he wrote.
At 7 p.m., Navidad-Vizcarra headed toward the DeConcini border crossing, but turned suddenly and "appeared to be taken evasive action to lose surveillance," wrote Kilcoyne. The agents pulled him over and spotted the speaker box through the open window.
The agents took the truck to an x-ray machine near the port of entry where they could see a "dense mass behind the bench seat." Closer inspection revealed a seal in the fabric of the speaker box, which contained the 7,000 rounds of ammunition.
At first, Navidad-Vizcarra claimed that someone else had loaded the ammunition into his vehicle in Tucson, but recanted his statement when agents told him about their surveillance, wrote Kilcoyne.
Navidad-Vizcarra confessed to smuggling and told agents that he had brought money into the United States and given the cash to another man to purchase the rounds.
Navidad-Vizcarra told agents that this was the third time he had smuggled cash and ammunition, Kilcoyne said.