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ICE agents intercept large weapons cache destined for cartels in Mexico

June 29, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
ICE agents intercept large weapons cache destined for cartels in Mexico

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Federal ICE officials revealed that a large weapons stockpile that was intercepted in the Texas border city of Laredo was set to be sent to Mexico. Homeland Security agents and other law enforcement officials collaborated to prevent a large number of semi-automatic firearms, ammunition, and ballistic armor from being sent to drug cartels in Nuevo Laredo.

Special Agents with the Laredo HSI High-Intensity Drug Trafficking task force followed efforts this month with other federal and local law agencies to confiscate 21 rifles, 962 rounds of ammunition, magazines, belt fed magazines, ballistic plates, armor carriers, and ghillie suits, according to a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement press release.

Earlier this month, members of the task force conducted a surveillance effort in downtown Laredo. While observing a parking lot, the agents noticed a person transferring boxes from one car to another.

Task force officials approached the person with the boxes and received consent to search the vehicle. During the inspection, the agents found the weapons and other items.

“Homeland Security will continue to leverage its authorities to combat transnational criminal organizations,” Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Adrian Flores, said in a statement. “HSI’s partnership with Federal, state, and local law enforcement in Laredo is crucial to ensuring public safety and national security in the United States and Mexico.”

Authorities indicated that they believe the guns, ammunition, and body armor were destined for Mexico. The Los Zetas drug dominates the area across the Rio Grande River from Laredocartel.

Law enforcement officials seized the weapons cache but did not make any arrests and the investigation is still pending.

ICE officials announced that the purpose behind the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking task force is to dismantle and disrupt drug organizations and “their illicit activities which destabilize communities in Texas and beyond.”

HSI agents seized almost 6,000 firearms and over 675,000 rounds of ammunition during the Fiscal Year 2017 that concluded on September 30, 2017.

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