Seize mega arsenal
THURSDAY FEBRUARY 23, 2012 13:15
CÉSAR BARRAGÁN /
As a result of special operation carried out in this city by members
of the State Police Public Safety (PESP) on Tuesday succeeded in
securing an arsenal and tactical gear.
This was the assurance of five assault rifles of various calibers, 1
pistol, 25 magazines, 463 rounds of ammunition, four masks, 1 body
armor unit, two tactical vests and pouches, plus two stolen vehicles.
The armed forces moved through the peripheral Luis Donaldo Colosio
and several streets in different neighborhoods, including Farm, Canoe
fractionation, Paseo Chula Vista residential and city center, among
According to official data the arsenal was secured in the Colony
Farm, in a wagon-type vehicle, Toyota, white, recent model that was
in apparent state of neglect, also secured a Chevrolet Montecarlo,
color gray, which was close with the engine running.
The authorities said that both vehicles are reported as stolen from
the years 2011 and 2009, respectively.
The material was seized during the operation made available to the
Federal Prosecutor, who is responsible for conducting investigations.
1 AR15 assault rifle 5.56 mm caliber.
2 AR15 assault rifle caliber .223 mm.
2 AK47 assault rifle 7.62x39 mm caliber.
1 Pistol 9mm.
25 magazines for cartridges of different calibers.
1 mag pouch with several compartments.
21 cartridges .223 caliber.
396 7.62x39mm caliber cartridges.
10 9mm cartridges.
36 10mm cartridges.
A bullet-proof vest.
2 Tactical Vests.
Note: of interest mostly to the gunnies. F&F linked by mayor.
Local, state and federal law enforcement in the area has numerous .
Murguía plays down Juárez link to gunshot
By Alejandro Martinez Cabrera / El Paso Times
Posted: 02/22/2012 11:44:14 PM MST
JUAREZ -- Mayor Héctor "Teto" Murguía disagreed with El Paso
authorities and said on Wednesday he doesn't believe a bullet that
struck a woman in Downtown El Paso on Tuesday came from Juárez.
Instead, Murguía hinted authorities should investigate whether the
bullet was fired from the U.S. or an American weapon smuggled into
"I think it is unlikely that the bullet was from Ciudad Juárez. They
would be better served looking at 'Fast and Furious' operations,"
Murguía said referring to the name of a botched U.S. Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operation that allowed guns
to be smuggled into Mexico.
On Tuesday about 11 a.m., Maria Romero, 48, who was shopping in the
200 block of East Overland Avenue, was shot in the leg by a stray
bullet. Romero was treated for a minor wound at Universal Medical
Center and released the same day.
The incident could be the first time a person in El Paso has been
wounded by a bullet fired in Juárez since drug-related violence began
El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said at a news conference Tuesday
that he believed the bullet was fired from Juárez during a
confrontation between police officers and two car thieves that
occurred around the same time near the Rio Grande.
The bullet that hit Romero was a .223-caliber, a type of ammunition
used by Juárez police assault rifles, and didn't match the caliber of
firearms reportedly seized from the carjacking suspects. According
to the Chihuahua state's prosecutor's office, authorities retrieved
83 .223-caliber bullet casings and nine 9mm casings.
El Paso police estimated the shot was fired from about 3,000 feet (or
0.56 miles) from where the woman was hit. They said it is not an
unusual distance for a rifle round.
Murguía questioned whether a bullet fired in Juárez could have
traveled that far with buildings and cars. Murguía cited city
technicians and said the bullet couldn't have gone farther than 750
meters, or 0.47 miles.
"From where the bullet came, and where it landed, the distance is not
close," he said.
However, ballistics experts disagreed.
"I'd say it can easily go over a mile," said Max J. Scott, owner of a
crime scene reconstruction firm, Forensic Trio, in Lafayette, Colo.
Ballistics experts with RNA Consulting in Los Altos Hills, Calif.,
said that .223-caliber bullets would not be recommended to shoot a
target 3,000 feet away, but added they could travel the distance
without much problem.
El Paso Mayor John Cook acknowledged there was no way to conclusively
determine whether the bullet was fired from Juárez without a
ballistics test on the bullet that injured Romero and the weapons
fired during the confrontation. But Cook said that after looking at
the evidence, it appeared "very possible" the bullet came from the
other side of the border.
"Intuitively, you'd think it's more than coincidental that at the
same exact moment there's a gunbattle in Juárez, a bullet hits
someone a half a mile away, considering that assault rifles will fire
bullets over a mile," he said. "It would seem reasonable there's a
possibility that that's where it came from, especially since there
were no other reports of gunfire."
Murguía said he would like some proof and a detailed report of what
happened on Tuesday and how a stray bullet landed in El Paso before
he or anyone else "blames" the Juárez municipal police officers for
the incident. And even if the bullet came from Juárez, the incident
should be seen as a rare occurrence, he said.
After hearing reports of Murguía's comments, Cook responded by
offering to conduct the needed tests in El Paso.
"There's one way we could find out for sure" what happened, Cook
said. "We're sending the bullet to ballistic tests, and if he wants
to send us all the weapons involved, we can check them. If there were
assault rifles in that shooting in Juárez that fire .223s, we can
compare bullets that we fire in the fire range. But I doubt that they
would allow us to do that."
Wednesday's incident once again raised concerns about cross-border
violence -- concerns that both Cook and Murguía have repeatedly tried
to abate in their cities.
Cook has defended El Paso's image as the country's safest city by
saying there is no evidence that bloodshed in Juárez has spilled
over. Murguía, along with Chihuahua Gov. César Duarte and Mexican
President Felipe Calderón, often point to declining crime statistics
from last year to argue that public safety has improved.
The two mayors said Wednesday they hadn't had a chance to discuss
Tuesday's incident. Cook said each has left phone messages for the
other, and Murguía said he would contact Cook as soon as possible.
Murguía hinted he was open to a cross-border investigation, but he
did not confirm one would take place.
"We're going to do everything possible to collaborate with each other
and ensure that Ciudad Juárez and El Paso as a region come out as
least-hurt as possible (from this incident) and things don't get
tense," he said.
Alejandro Martínez-Cabrera may be reached at