ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Mexican prosecutors will press charges against a U.S. truck driver who may have accidentally crossed into Juarez last week with 268,000 rounds of ammunition, a source familiar with the investigation told the El Paso Times.
Meanwhile, officials with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said preliminary investigations suggested that the driver was transporting a legitimate cargo, the Times said.
Jabin Akeem Bogan, 27, will face charges for violation of provisions of Mexico’s anti-gun laws, a Mexican officials told the Times.
Bogan could face between four and 15 years in prison if charged with possession and between 10 and 15 years if charged and convicted of introducing cartridges of exclusive use by the military, said Salvador Urbina, a defense attorney in Juarez.
Bogan is currently being held in a federal prison in Veracruz, said his mother, Aletha Smith.
Mexican federal customs officials detained Bogan last Tuesday at the Bridge of the Americas along with his truckload of ammunition, but his employer and others have said the load was actually headed for a Phoenix ammo shop, the Times said.
Bogan took a wrong turn at the Bridge of the Americas and was told by a nearby officer that the only way to turn around was to cross into Mexico and return, Dennis Mekenye, owner of Demco Transportation Inc. and Bogan’s boss, told the Times.
8:19am 4/18/12 — Ammo-Laden U.S. Semi Seized in Juarez
A U.S. truck driver was arrested after 268,000 rounds of ammunition were found in a tractor-trailer in Juarez by Mexican customs agents at the Bridge of the Americas Tuesday afternoon, the El Paso Times reported.
It was one of the largest seizures of ammunition made by Mexican authorities in Juarez since a vicious cartel war erupted four years ago, killing more than 9,500 people, the Times said.
Mexican news outlets identified the arrested driver as Bogan Jabin Akeem, 37, of Dallas, the paper reported.
Akeem was driving a tractor-trailer with Texas plates and the logo “McKinney Trailer Rentals,” according to news reports.
Sources said the ammunition was of the type used for AK-47 and AR-15 rifles, often used by members of Mexican criminal organizations, the paper reported.
The bullets, which were being transported inside metal boxes, are legal to buy in the United States but are banned in Mexico, which considers such ammunition only for military use, the Times said. Signs on the El Paso side of the border warn travelers not to take firearms and ammunition into Mexico.