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Texas man accused of purchasing 40K rounds of ammo destined for Mexico

Judge's gavel in a courtroom, stack of law books. (wp paarz/Flickr)

Federal authorities last week arrested an Alto Bonito man who they determined purchased more than 40,000 rounds of ammunition that was illegally destined for Mexico.

Homeland Security Investigations last Thursday arrested Jose Antonio Rivera, a U.S. citizen born in 1988, for a single incident that occurred on March 9, 2020, involving his alleged attempt to smuggle 6,000 rounds of 7.62-by-39 caliber ammunition south of the Rio Grande.

Rivera, who is temporarily being held without bond, is scheduled for a detention hearing Wednesday afternoon.

The investigation into Rivera began on Feb. 28, 2020, after an HSI agent stationed at Falcon Dam received information that the suspect was making bulk ammunition purchases, and records obtained by the agent indicated Rivera previously purchased thousands of rounds of ammunition, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Friday.

After HSI received this information, special agents set up surveillance outside of Rivera’s Alto Bonito residence where they observed a UPS truck deliver six boxes addressed to Rivera.

Federal authorities say each box contained 1,000 rounds of ammunition.

So special agents gave Rivera a call and he agreed to an interview that occurred at the Rio Grande City Border Patrol Station.

HSI says Rivera waived his Miranda rights and agreed to speak without the presence of an attorney.

Rivera says he met a person from Mexico in Rio Grande City who offered to pay him to purchase ammunition that would be smuggled into Mexico, and Rivera agreed because he needed money, according to the complaint.

According to investigators, Rivera admitted that he had already purchased ammunition on previous occasions that was destined to be smuggled into Mexico.

“Rivera stated on previous occasions that the ammunition was removed from its packaging, repackaged, and concealed inside a vehicle so that it could be illegally exported from the United States to Mexico,” the complaint stated.

During the course of the investigation, HSI says the agency determined Rivera had purchased more than 40,000 rounds of ammunition that was for illegal export to Mexico.


(c) 2021 The Monitor

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