AK-Style Rifles Seized by Border Patrol

(HorizonPost.com) – Border Patrol agents in California seized a cache of 25 AK-47-style rifles that were allegedly being transported from Arizona to California.

According to a June 14 press release from Customs and Border Protection, a Border Patrol K-9 alerted agents at the Blythe Station in California about a Honda CRV driven by two brothers on Wednesday, June 12.

When Border Patrol agents searched the vehicle, they discovered the AK-style rifles, along with 25 magazines holding 30 rounds and two pistols. The two men were taken into custody and the weapons and vehicle were seized.

Border Patrol turned the men over to local law enforcement.

According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office, investigators from the Coachella Valley Gang Task Force responded to the scene and placed 25-year-old Jose Palma Almendarez from Calexico under arrest on suspicion of several weapons-related charges. He was booked into Blythe Jail.

The second suspect, Palma Almendarez’s 17-year-old brother was released to the custody of his parents.

According to Customs and Border Protection, it was believed that the brothers were transporting the weapons to Mexico.

Yuma Sector Chief Border Patrol Agent Sean McGoffin said in the statement that criminal cartels engage in weapons trafficking as a way to “fuel their illicit activity” both in Mexico and the United States.

McGoffin said the weapons seized demonstrated the Border Patrol’s “commitment to keeping our communities safe.”

The seizure, believed to be the largest in recent history for the Yuma Sector, was part of Operation Apollo, a counter-fentanyl effort launched in Southern California in October of last year, according to Customs and Border Protection.

Operation Apollo, which expanded to Arizona in April, is an intelligence partnership between Customs and Border Protection field assets and federal, state, and local law enforcement to share resources and increase collaboration to target fentanyl smuggling in the United States.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office said anyone with information about the alleged weapons trafficking should contact the Coachella Valley Gang Task Force through its online tip form.

Copyright 2024, HorizonPost.com