Tuesday, April 24, 2012



Trucker will face anti-gun charges in Mexico
ATF: Ammo cache was legitimate cargo
By Alejandro Martínez-Cabrera \ EL PASO TIMES
Posted: 04/24/2012 12:00:00 AM MDT

Mexican federal prosecutors will press charges against the U.S.
trucker who may have accidentally crossed into Juárez with 268,000
rounds of ammunition last week, a source familiar with the
investigation said Monday.
Meanwhile, officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms
and Explosives reiterated on Monday that preliminary investigations
suggest that the truck driver was transporting a legitimate cargo.
A Mexican official, who requested anonymity because he is not
authorized to disclose the information, said Jabin Akeem Bogan, 27,
will face charges for violation of provisions within Mexico's anti-
gun laws.
The source said it was unclear under which provisions he would be
charged, but it is possible he will be accused with possession of
cartridges of exclusive use by the military.
Salvador Urbina, a criminal attorney in Juárez, said it is more
likely that Bogan will be charged with introduction of cartridges of
exclusive use by the military, which is a more serious offense.
Bogan could face between four and 15 years in prison if charged with
possession, and between 10 and 25 years if charged with introduction,
Urbina said. Ê
His case will be resolved by the fifth district court in Juárez,
where a federal judge has 72 hours to determine if Bogan will remain
in prison until his next court date and what will happen with the
seized rounds of ammunition.
Bogan is currently being held in a federal prison in Veracruz,
Mexico, said his mother
Aletha Smith.
The source said Bogan will likely be transferred back to the federal
prison in Juárez, near the Samalayuca desert.
Bogan was detained last Tuesday by Mexican federal customs officers
at the Bridge of the Americas with the cargo. His employer and others
have come out in his defense, saying the load was actually headed to
a Phoenix ammo shop.
Bogan took a wrong turn toward the Bridge of the Americas and was
told by a nearby officer that the only way to turn around was going
into Mexico and returning, said Dennis Mekenye, owner of Arlington-
based Demco Transportation Inc and Bogan's boss.
The transaction was legitimate and that his company is authorized to
transport such cargo, Mekenye said.
"From the company's standpoint everything is legal," he said. Ê
ATF spokesman in Dallas, Tom Crowley said on Monday that so far
investigations haven't revealed anything suspicious about the
transportation of the ammunitions.
"We've done numerous interviews and all we can say is that it looks
like it was going to be a legitimate delivery to that dealer in
Phoenix," he said.
Nevertheless, some questions remain.
Both Mexican and U.S. customs officials have declined to say that
their officers would instruct any commercial trailer-truck driver to
enter Mexico to do a U-turn back into the United States.
Mexican authorities also initially reported that the rounds of
ammunition were calibers 7.62x39 and 5.56x45, which are commonly used
with AK-47 and AR-15 rifles.
However, Howard Glaser, owner of United Nations Ammo Co., said his
order was made up of 250,000 7.62x51-caliber rounds and 18,000 5.56-
caliber rounds. 7.61x51-caliber rounds are used with M14 ceremonial
rifles, sniper rifles and some machine guns, but "would not work with
AK-47s," Glaser said.
Mekenye said Bogan currently doesn't have an attorney representing
him in Mexico.
"His mom is not in an (economic) position to hire anybody," he said.
On Monday, Smith questioned the Mexican authorities' decision to
charge his son.
"My son was a driver of a truck and he made a wrong turn. He didn't
do anything so why would they press charges?" she said.

Note: a rare use of export control laws

Smuggled into Mexico 800 bulletproof vests
Alberto Ponce de Leon
El Diario de El Paso
| April 24, 2012 | 9:32 pm

El Paso, Texas. - The former owner of Uniforms of Texas located in
this city was arrested yesterday by federal authorities to export
illegally, about 800 flak jackets, among other charges, according to
information from the Department of Justice (DOJ) U.S. Attorney
Robert Pitman and the agent in charge of Internal Security
Investigations (HSI) of the Department of Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE), Dennis A. Ulrich, announced yesterday morning the
arrest of Hector Ayala, 48 years old, smuggle bullets and other
prohibited items to Mexico.

"Under U.S. law can export no body armor or anything like bullets
without a license," said Attorney General spokesman for the Western
District of Texas, Daryl Fields.

In Mexico, armored vests to import require a permit issued by the
Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA), pay the 15 percent tariff and
16 percent VAT and then resell them without problems, said lawyer
Enrique Torres Valadez.
He explained that there is no restriction on the level of armor, but
permits are difficult to obtain.
In December 2011, Uniforms of Texas had been premises searched, but
Ayala had not been arrested until yesterday.

The federal grand jury indictment, which was returned on Wednesday
and released the day of arrest, charges the merchant to two counts of
facilitating the smuggling of U.S. goods, two counts of illegally
exporting body armor and high capacity magazines without a license
and two for money laundering.

His first appearance before Judge Robert F. Castañeda, scheduled for
Monday at 2:30 pm was canceled. According to reports from the
federal court in El Paso is possible that between now and tomorrow
will have to submit to the judge.

If convicted, Hector Ayala could reach a maximum sentence of 20 years
in prison for each count of money laundering and up to 10 years in
prison for each of the other charges, reports said.

In 2007, Ayala told this newspaper that the then chief operating
officer of the Municipal Public Security Secretariat of Ciudad
Juarez, Saulo Reyes Gamboa and former governors Patricio Martinez and
Jesus Reyes Baeza bought this type of protective vest. "A few days
after taking office in January of 2007, Reyes Gamboa earned at least
one of these vests at a cost of $ 2,000, which simulate a tank top
undershirt, in Hector Uniforms, business located on Montana Street
"was published then.
According to news published at the time, Hector Uniforms was, along
with Alamo Shooters one of the shops in El Paso "which sells for
several years uniforms or safety equipment to law enforcement
agencies of Mexico, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and
Cipol ".
Ayala said at the time that the first Mexican official in his shop
bought one of the body armor was former Chihuahua Governor Patricio
Martinez, whose model was the same as that acquired after Reyes Baeza
and Reyes Gamboa.

The current indictment, meanwhile, states that the September 1, 2009
to December 3, 2011, Ayala concealed and facilitated the
transportation of multiple calibers and bullets quantities, about 300
high capacity magazines, 800 bulletproof vests, ceramic plates aware
that items were being exported to Mexico.

The federal document states that during the same period, the accused
trader's financial transactions made a profit from the sale of
bullets, boots and body armor.

Ayala made many times, transactions with cash in amounts below $
10,000 for the purpose of avoiding having to report them. HSI agents
and the Bureau of Alcohol, Snuff, Firearms and Explosives (ATP) are
involved in the investigation. The assistant attorney, Greg McDonald,
preside over the case on behalf of the government.

Until that date, according to reports from a search engine for
businesses, Uniforms of Texas was established in 2002 and sells
various types of uniforms, including for police, cheerleaders,
business and even boy scouts. According to the data, it has annual
revenues of between 1 to 2.5 million a year and employs five to nine

No comments:

Post a Comment