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Gulf Cartel members busted shopping for bulk ammo in Texas

November 8, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Gulf Cartel members busted shopping for bulk ammo in Texas

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The Gulf Cartel is dispatching teams to various stores in the border city of McAllen, Texas to buy bulk quantities of ammunition to smuggle back to Mexico. It is not clear if the reported stockpiling efforts could mean a forthcoming increase in violence across the border in Reynosa.

In recent days, agents with U.S. Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives took six individuals into custody, who were purportedly linked to at least three attempts to buy and smuggle thousands of rounds each, Breitbart Texas reported.

In the border city of Reynosa, the Gulf Cartel is waging a violent war for control of profitable drug and human smuggling territories.

The violence, carried out by two battling Gulf Cartel cells, led to weeks of large-scale shootouts that spread terror and led to over 260 confirmed murders.

In one of the probes, HSI agents arrested Edgar Ivan Santiago, Jazmin Vianey Lopez, and Sarahi Gomez Hernandez after the attempt to smuggle 1,000 rounds for AR-15 rifles; 700 rounds for AK-47s; 200 rounds of 9mm; 100 rounds of .300 blackout ammunition; along with several magazines.

Photo shows Gulf Cartel members who were busted in 2011 smuggling a large cache of weapons into Mexico

The group crossed into the city of Hidalgo through an international bridge and went several stores, buying the boxes of ammunition.

As part of an ongoing probe, agents tracked the crew to a stash house in Pharr, Texas, before they traveled back to Reynosa. Authorities arrested the suspects as they tried to cross into Mexico.

In a similar instance, Osvaldo Diaz Villarreal, a Mexican citizen, reportedly bought over 2,000 rounds for AK-47 rifles. Federal officials conducting surveillance saw Diaz Villarreal pick up the ammunition and apprehended him in north McAllen. The man told agents that he purchased the ammunition for $638. Since Diaz Villarreal is a Mexican citizen on a tourist visa, he is not able to legally buy ammunition.

Federal agents also arrested Eduard Vasquez in the city of San Juan. According to court documents, HSI agents determined that Vasquez bought at least four rifles and one handgun to smuggle into Mexico. During an interview, Vasquez confessed that he received $600 for the weapons.

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