Tuesday, November 27, 2012

AZMEX UPDATE2 27-11-12


US Trucker Nabbed With Ammo In Mexico Is Freed
By: Juan Carlos Llorca, Associated Press
11/26/2012 (10:17am)

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A Dallas trucker imprisoned for seven months in
Mexico on accusations that he tried to smuggle assault rifle
ammunition into the country broke down in tears Friday when he
returned to the U.S., saying he had at times given up hope.

Jabin Bogan maintains he was on his way to Phoenix to deliver the
ammunition in April when he took a wrong highway exit and
accidentally crossed the border into Mexico. Despite his insistence
it was an honest mistake, the 27-year-old was arrested and taken to a
Mexican maximum security prison.

"Some days I gave up hope. Some days I felt like God was, to be
honest in my heart, like God was laughing. Like he was just punishing
me for no reason. I felt like just giving up," he said during a brief
news conference in El Paso shortly after arriving back in the U.S.

Bogan tearfully thanked his supporters, and said that at times he
felt like taking his own life or someone else's.

"I was the only black American person in the whole prison. God
brought me through and I made it," he said.

Bogan was released from the Mexican prison last week but had been
detained by immigration authorities until Friday. He was found guilty
of possession of military ammunition and sentenced to three years,
but the ruling was later commuted for time served and a fine.

He was arrested on April 17 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, just across the
border from El Paso. Bogan said he was headed to Phoenix when he got
lost, and he told Mexican authorities that a law enforcement officer
at the border had told him to continue driving across the
international bridge.

Bogan said he attempted to turn back when he realized he had crossed
into Mexico, but the layout of the traffic lanes prevented him from
returning without first crossing into the truck inspection area in
Juarez, where his truck was searched.

He said Friday that when he acknowledged to the agents he had
ammunition, "they said, 'in this side of the country it's illegal to
have bullets.' And that's when everything went upside down they took
me in and never let me out."

During his trial, Mexican customs agents contradicted prosecutors'
claim that Bogan had 268,000 bullets hidden under the floorboards of
his 18-wheeler's trailer when he was arrested. Agents testified in
June that Bogan was trying to make a U-turn back into the U.S. when
they found the ammunition bundled on top of wooden pallets inside the

Bogan was arrested less than 100 feet from a giant billboard that
reads, "no more weapons." The sign, unveiled by Mexican President
Felipe Calderon two months before Bogan was caught, was made out of
seized high-caliber rifles and ammunition.

Calderon has blamed lax U.S. gun laws for the flow of weapons into

An appeal filed in August by Bogan's lawyer in Mexico, Emilio de la
Rosa, reduced the charge from smuggling to possession of military
ammunition. That allowed Bogan to be released after serving a portion
of his sentence and paying a fine. He also was sentenced to
supervised release, which he can do by mail.

The ammunition belonged to United Nations Ammunition. De la Rosa said
the bullets would not be returned to the company.

A spokesman with the Mexican Attorney General did not immediately
respond to a request seeking comment.

Bogan's attorney, Carlos Spector, maintains that Bogan made an honest
mistake. But he said his lawyers decided not to fight the case, in
part because of the potential political implications.

"He (De la Rosa) knew the options were get him out in six or seven
months or sink him with a 30-year-sentence. Asking for a not-guilty
sentence was impossible because the Mexican government had to get
something out of this," Spector said.

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