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Pics: Explosive, ammo-filled backpacks found at southern border

The US-Mexico border patrolled by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, who is on the lookout for illegal crossings, human trafficking and drug smuggling. (Donna Burton/U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
September 07, 2023

In an escalating development at the Rio Grande Valley sector, U.S. Border Patrol authorities discovered backpacks containing ammunition and a homemade explosive device.

Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez, who oversees enforcement operations across a 264-mile stretch between West Texas and southern New Mexico, highlighted the gravity of the situation Wednesday. The revelation serves as a chilling reminder of the security challenges faced by law enforcement along a border region notorious for its control by Mexican cartels.

In a post on X – formerly Twitter – Chavez shared photos of the backpacks with ammunition and a homemade explosive device, stating, “An example of the tactics & weapons that criminals employ against our Agents.”

Chavez revealed that authorities successfully averted a “dangerous situation.”

The McAllen Police Department played a crucial role in detonating the homemade explosive, according to Chavez. The device and ammunition were initially found by border patrol agents during a patrol around Fronton, Texas.

The recent discovery of a homemade explosive device is not the first incident of explosive devices being located or intercepted by border agents. News Nation reported that on May 6, authorities in Arizona intercepted an Improvised Explosive Device from a vehicle at a port of entry in Douglas.

The Department of Homeland Security has previously warned that these devices can vary in destructive power, “ranging from a small pipe bomb to a sophisticated device capable of causing massive damage and loss of life.”

READ MORE: US Border Patrol agents in Texas shot at from Mexico

The explosive device discovered at a port of entry in Douglas was reportedly assembled using a miniature M&M container and black electrical tape, according to The Daily Wire. Following its discovery, a thorough search was conducted, but no other dangerous items were located, authorities confirmed.

Earlier this year, then-U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz testified before the House Homeland Security Committee, openly admitting that Mexican cartels are actively involved in smuggling drugs and immigrants along the Southwest border.

U.S. Rep. August Pfluger, a Republican from San Angelo, Texas, summarized Ortiz’s testimony, saying, “We have had ground-breaking testimony by Chief Ortiz. He said we do not have operational control of the Southwest border.”

This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.