San Diego — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa port of entry arrested a local man Tuesday after discovering multiple assault rifle components and 64 boxes of ammunition concealed throughout the vehicle he was driving.
The incident occurred at about 2:40 p.m. on Jan. 21, when CBP officers were conducting southbound inspections of travelers heading to Mexico. Officers targeted a 2011 Toyota Sienna minivan and referred the driver and vehicle for further examination.
During an intensive inspection of the vehicle, officers discovered 17 high-powered rifle parts and seven high-capacity magazines concealed in the quarter panels and eight additional parts hidden under the seats.
Officers searched a motorized wheelchair they found in the minivan and discovered a total of 2,360 rounds of ammunition concealed inside its battery compartment.
CBP officers arrested the driver, a 52-year-old Mexican citizen, and lawful permanent resident of United States, and turned him over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations agents for further processing. He was later transported to the Metropolitan Correctional Center to await arraignment.
CBP placed an immigration hold on the driver to initiate removal from the United States at the conclusion of his criminal proceedings.
CBP seized the weapons, ammunition, and vehicle.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.