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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Boss: Driver took wrong turn into Juárez with load of ammo

    Boss: Driver took wrong turn into Juárez with load of ammo

    by Alejandro Martínez-Cabrera \ El Paso
    Posted: 04/19/2012 12:00:00 AM MDT
    Reporter: Alejandro Martinez-Cabrera

    The U.S. truck driver detained by Mexican authorities Tuesday with 268,000 rounds of ammunition was transporting a legal cargo to Phoenix but mistakenly exited to Juárez, the man's employer said on Wednesday.

    Dennis Mekenye, owner of Demco Transportation Inc. in Arlington, Texas, said Bogan Jabin Akeem, 27, left Dallas on Monday with a trailer with nine pallets containing the ammunition.

    The cargo was being taken from Tennessee to an ammunition retailer in Phoenix called United Nations Ammo Co. as part of a legitimate transaction, Mekenye said.

    Akeem made a stop in El Paso and, before driving the last stretch toward Phoenix, he accidentally took a wrong turn toward the international Bridge of the Americas, his boss said.

    "It was a mistake for him to take a wrong turn and find himself in Mexican soil," Mekenye said. "He missed the exit, and he went south. He asked one cop there, 'I missed my exit, how can I turn around?' "

    Mekenye said Akeem could not turn the vehicle around at the bridge and had to continue into Mexico. Coming back,

    Mexican authorities told him they had to inspect his vehicle.
    Mekenye said he didn't know whether Akeem declared he was transporting ammunition or whether Mexican authorities discovered the cargo upon inspection.

    "It was a legitimate movement from Tennessee to Phoenix," said Mekenye, who also said that his company does not ship to Mexico and that he has never been investigated for shipping contraband.

    The owner of United Nations Ammo in Phoenix, who identified himself only as "Howie," said he was expecting Akeem to arrive Tuesday night to offload the cargo Wednesday morning.

    "All the media was calling it cartel ammo, but we paid for that ammo, it's really our property. In no way whatsoever was that ammunition ever supposed to go to Mexico," he said. "We ordered this ammunition, and it's ammunition meant to be sold in the United States of America for legal hobbyists, legal shooters and legal enthusiasts."

    The cargo had a value of $100,000, he said.

    "It's a tremendous shipment we paid for," he said. "We're hoping they will release the man and our property so it can be delivered to us."

    Howie declined to comment on how large the order of ammunition rounds was compared with previous ones.

    Federal officials did not respond to calls seeking comment on Mekenye's version of the events.

    Akeem was arrested Tuesday evening by Mexican federal authorities and will remain in custody until a court determines whether a criminal case will go forward. Mexican authorities have 48 hours to decide whether they will continue with an investigation.

    José Angel Torres Valadez, spokesman in the Northern region for Mexico's General Attorney's Office, or PGR, said he could not share any details until the 48-hour period has passed but said it is possible that Akeem will be taken to Mexico City to continue the investigation.

    Akeem was driving a tractor-trailer with Texas plates and the logo "McKinney Trailer Rentals." A spokesman with McKinney confirmed that Mekenye's company has been a McKinney client for several years.

    The bullets were being transported inside metal boxes. Sources said the ammunition is of the type used for AK-47 and AR-15 rifles. The rifles are often used by members of Mexican criminal organizations.

    The bullets are legal to buy in the United States, but the ammunition is banned in Mexico, which considers those types of rifles and bullets only for military use. The seizure was one of the largest made by Mexican authorities in Juárez since a vicious drug-cartel war that has killed more than 9,500 people erupted four years ago.

    Mekenye said he has been in touch with the U.S. Consulate in Juárez, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Department of Homeland Security.

    Olga Bashbush, spokeswoman for the U.S. Consulate in Juárez, confirmed that Akeem was a U.S. citizen and said consular officials met with him Tuesday. Representatives of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives did not return calls seeking comment.

    Mekenye said that Akeem had been his employee for more than two years. A criminal background check showed Akeem did not appear to have any previous convictions or run-ins with the law.

    U.S. authorities have increased enforcement to try to stop the so-called Iron River, or flow of weapons, into Mexico.

    Last week, a U.S. Border Patrol agent from El Paso and his girlfriend were arrested by U.S. federal agents on gun-smuggling related charges. They are accused of lying on federal forms to buy firearms and ammo intended for Mexico.

    In Juárez, local police operations have resulted in the seizure of 168 weapons so far this year.

    Alejandro Martínez-Cabrera may be reached at; 546-6129. Follow him on Twitter @AlejandroEPT

    Boss: Driver took wrong turn into Juárez with load of ammo - El Paso Times
    Last edited by JohnDoe2; 04-19-2012 at 01:49 PM.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
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    I smell a GIANT RAT the size of Mexico.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    AP version of the story.

    Boss: Driver with ammo took wrong turn to Mexico

    By JUAN CARLOS LLORCA | Associated Press – 15 mins ago...

    EL PASO, Texas (AP) — The boss of a truck driver caught with 268,000 rounds of ammunition in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, said Thursday that his employee took a wrong turn on his way to deliver what he insists was legal cargo bound for an Arizona dealer.

    Dennis Mekenye, operations manager at Demco freight company in the Dallas suburb of Arlington, said Jabin Bogan, 27, made "a very honest mistake" when he took a wrong turn that eventually led him to Mexico on Tuesday. Mekenye said h has been in touch with U.S. law enforcement agencies and the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juarez.

    ATF spokesman Tom Crowley said that agents in Juarez "are looking into the specifics of what happened" but declined further comment.

    "We want this solved, that is why we have been so forthcoming with authorities," he said.

    The truck's tracking unit showed that it had entered into Mexico, and that is when Mekenye said he decided to call Bogan.

    "We do not go into Mexico; our company is not licensed to go into Mexico," Mekenye said. The driver told him over the phone that Mexican authorities had detained him and were going to inspect the cargo.

    Mekenye said that Bogan informed him that after making two of his three stops in El Paso, Texas, he proceeded to drive to the third stop at company called Carefusion before heading to Phoenix, where the ammunition was to be delivered. But he took a wrong turn and found himself at the Bridge of The Americas, unable to make a U-Turn.

    "He said a cop told him to go straight and then he could make a U-turn," Mekenye told The Associated Press. He could not confirm whether the law enforcement officer Bogan talked to was from the U.S. or Mexico.

    Delilah Dominguez at Carefusion said the company would not comment on whether there was cargo expected to be delivered by Demco Tuesday.

    Howard Glaser, owner of United Nations Ammunition in Phoenix said the cargo was 18,000 units of 5.56 caliber bullets like those used for ar-15 assault rifles and 250,000 .308 caliber bullets. "They are saying these (the .308 rounds) are for AK-47 rifles but the brass casing is 12 millimeters longer, it will not fit in the chamber," Glaser said.

    "They are making a big political issue out of this," he said.

    Glaser said he bought these surplus rounds from Wideners, an ammunition distribution company in Tennessee and they were intended to be sold mostly online at his online store. There was no immediate comment from Wideners regarding this cargo.

    The federal prosecutor's office in northern Chihuahua state said Bogan is being held pending investigation on illegal weapons charges. Spokesman Angel Torres said the driver claimed he had no goods to declare. Torres said a gamma-ray inspection of the truck's cargo compartment revealed the presence of metal canisters holding the ammunition. He says the bullets were hidden under pallets in the truck's floor.

    Two calibers of ammunition were found, which can be fired by AR-15 and AK-47 assault rifles, Mexican prosecutors said. Prosecutors said it was the largest seizure of ammunition in Ciudad Juarez in recent memory.

    Boss: Driver with ammo took wrong turn to Mexico - Yahoo! News

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  5. #5
    Senior Member artclam's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    My first thought was that this excuse could be confirmed or denied by identifying the officer and asking him if the truck driver did say he intended to make a U-turn and ask for directions. However, I'm afraid these officers get many requests for directions each day and might not remember this individual one.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Ex-ATF agent: Ammo load should have been stopped

    By Alejandro Martínez-Cabrera \ EL PASO
    Posted: 04/23/2012 12:00:00 AM MDT

    In light of Tuesday's arrest in Juárez of a U.S. trucker with 268,000 rounds of ammunition, a former agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives questioned the current safeguards at the U.S. side of the border to prevent similar contraband moving southbound.

    Jabin Akeem Bogan, 27, was detained Tuesday afternoon 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 ammunitions were actually headed to Phoenix and that Bogan ended up in Mexico by accident.

    Regardless of Bogan's intentions, René Jáquez, former assistant country attaché in Juárez with the ATF, said that U.S. customs officers should have intercepted the cargo.

    "In my opinion, the real question to ask is how is it that our customs agents with all heightened security were able to miss this type of shipment going into Mexico? How was it that this truck was able to get into Mexico with all those ammo?" he said.

    And if the cargo was indeed legitimate, Jáquez said, U.S. customs officers should have been able to see the ammunitions, check the paperwork and steer the driver in the right direction.

    "If they would have opened the door they would have seen the ammunition," he said.

    Roger Maier, spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said his agency's primary focus is on inspecting what's coming into the country. Nevertheless, southbound inspections have stepped up since secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano ordered it in her visit to El Paso in March of 2009, he said.

    "Although CBP focuses on arriving travelers and trade as a means of securing our country and economy, we also engage in outbound enforcement when resources permit, focusing on currency, weapons, export violations and fugitives," Maier said in a statement.

    Early in 2009, shortly after her nomination as secretary of Homeland Security, Napolitano promised the Obama administration would crack down on firearm smuggling into Mexico.

    CBP implemented measures such as expanding its southbound license-plate reader program and investing in non-intrusive inspection equipment. The initiatives have resulted in increased confiscations of guns, ammunitions and currency, Maier said.

    But Mexican officials think it hasn't been enough. In February, Mexican President Felipe Calderón unveiled a large banner made out of confiscated weapons on the Bridge of the Americas -- where Bogan was detained Tuesday -- that read "No More Weapons." With loudspeakers and addressing border commuters and El Pasoans within earshot, Calderón called on U.S. citizens for help in stopping the flow of weapons into Mexico.

    Before his address, Calderón attended a ceremony where 6,000 weapons were destroyed, a sampling of the more than 63,641 handguns, 44,332 rifles, machine guns and other weapons, and 10.9 million cartridges seized from criminal organizations since the beginning of Calderón's administration.

    Tuesday's seizure was one of the largest made by Mexican authorities in Juárez in the last four years of violence.

    On Thursday, Bogan was flown into Mexico City by personnel of the organized crime special investigation unit of Mexico's General Attorney's office, or PGR. Despite being required by law to determine whether they will continue with an investigation after 48 hours from detaining someone have passed, Mexican authorities have not yet announced their decision.

    Other questions also remain regarding Bogan's intent when crossing into Mexico with the ammunition.

    According to Dennis Mekenye, owner of Arlington-based Demco Transportation Inc. and Bogan's employer, Bogan was transporting legal cargo heading to a Phoenix ammunition shop, United Nations Ammunition Company.

    Bogan made a stop in El Paso and, before driving the last stretch toward Phoenix, he accidentally took a wrong turn toward the international bridge. Mekenye said Bogan was told by a nearby officer that the only way to turn around was going into Mexico and returning.

    Mekenye didn't specify if the officer was American or Mexican, but CBP's Maier said U.S. customs officers "would never direct anyone to Mexico if that wasn't their intent."

    Although it's not common for commercial tractor-trailers to try to return, Maier said CBP personnel have helped some truckers turn around through the narrow return passage at the Córdova-Americas bridge.

    "We've had to stop traffic so they can cut across and head back north," he said. "It's a tight turn, but we've been able to assist them."

    Mexican customs administrator in Juárez Juan Ramón Huerta León declined to comment whether Mexican officials instructed Bogan to enter Mexico to do a U-turn, saying it was part of the PGR's investigation. However, he said "it's not a logical situation. How are you going to enter a country to do a maneuver like that?"

    Huerta also added Mexican customs officials initially approached Bogan's trailer-truck after he performed "a strange maneuver" while on the trailer-truck's lane into Mexico.

    It also remains unclear what type of ammunitions Bogan was transporting. Mexican authorities initially reported the rounds of ammunition were calibers 7.62x39 and 5.56x45, which are commonly used with AK-47 and AR-15 rifles. They are often used by members of Mexican criminal organizations.

    But the owner of United Nations Ammunition, who identified himself only as "Howie," said his order was made up of 250,000 7.62x51-caliber rounds and 18,000 5.56-caliber rounds.

    While the 5.56 rounds are typically used with AR-15 rifles, 7.62x51 rounds are used with M14 ceremonial rifles, sniper rifles and some machine guns. Howie saidÊthey could be used with hunting rifles and some assault weapons, but "they would not work with an AK-47."

    Howie said he ordered $100,000 worth of ammunitions from Widener's Reloading and Shooting Supply Inc., in Johnson City, Tenn. He said he had requested a large order due to a shortage following recent large military orders.

    "I wish I could get five times more than that," he said.

    Widener's did not return calls seeking comment, but its website states, "We can only ship inside the USA, we do not export."

    Tom Crowley, spokesman for ATF in Dallas, said they have reviewed both United Nations Ammo and Widener's and "there have been no apparent issues with either of those companies" and they "haven't come across anything suspicious as of this time."

    "We're still looking into the entire thing. It's really too early to say anything conclusively and we're still looking at it in Mexico," he said.

    If investigations conclude that Rogan indeed went into Mexico by accident, Crowley noted, it wouldn't be the first time something similar happened in the El Paso-Juárez area.

    In April 2008, Spc. Richard Raymond Medina Torres, of Fort Hood, mistakenly drove into Mexico with several personal weapons. He was released after Mexican authorities determined he did not break any antigun laws.

    Many El Pasoans agreed driving into Mexico by accident was an easy mistake to make.

    Mark Moore, 63, said he found himself once about to go southbound on the Stanton Street Bridge.

    "There's no way to turn back unless you break the law," he said.

    Bernadine McNeel, 86, said she had accidentally ended up in Mexico once or twice.

    "I think it's really easy, especially if you're on Paisano Drive," she said.

    Antonio Esparza, 81, thought new ramps near the international bridges would be a good public works project to consider.

    "Why doesn't the city build a runaway ramp leading away from Juárez?" he said. "It would be expensive but not as expensive as having to fight the Mexican laws."

    Alejandro Martínez-Cabrera may be reached at; 546-6129; on Twitter @AlejandroEPT.¼

    Ex-ATF agent: Ammo load should have been stopped - El Paso Times

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  7. #7
    Senior Member stevetheroofer's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
    somewhere near Mexico I reckon!

    Customs Told Trucker to Drive into Mexico with Ammunition, Lawyer Says.

    Customs told trucker to drive into Mexico with Ammunition, Lawyer says.
    Published May 03, 2012 Fox News Latino

    El Paso, Texas – The lawyer for the Texas trucker who claims he accidentally drove a load of ammunition into Mexico's murder capital said Wednesday a U.S. customs agent told him to cross the border, contradicting border official's claims.

    Javin Bogan was arrested April 17 when he tried to enter Mexico carrying 268,000 rounds of ammunition. He says he took a wrong turn after the second of his four stops of the day and was on his way to a West El Paso medical supplies company when he found himself at the bridge, unable to turn back.

    Bogan's El Paso attorney Carlos Spector said at a news conference Wednesday that Bogan told him by phone that a Customs and Borders Protection officer told him to continue across the bridge.

    "He talked to a guy in a blue uniform. That's CBP... He was misdirected by CBP," Spector said.

    Customs spokesman Roger Maier said officers from several agencies regularly present at the port of entry wear blue uniforms.
    "It could have been a security guard, El Paso Police officer, a Mexican official," said Maier.
    Maier has said that CBP officers did not encounter Bogan that day.
    "If we had and he told us it was not his intention to go to Mexico we would have stopped traffic to allow him to initiate a U-turn and head north away from the port. We would not have told him to go to Mexico and make a U turn there," he told The Associated Press in an email last week.

    Bogan is currently detained in a high-security Mexican prison, facing charges of attempting to smuggle ammunition used by the armed forces. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 35 years in prison.
    Aletha Smith, Bogan's mother said her son "is scared, this is the first time this happens to him. My son was not trying to go to Mexico." Smith briefly stopped crying to say, "I'm not here for show, I just want my baby back."
    Spector alleged Bogan's arrest was part of "a political narrative by the Mexican government to blame the U.S. for the flow of weapons and ammunition into Mexico." Spector pointed to initial reports by the Mexican authorities that stated that the ammunition was hidden under the floorboards of the truck and that it was the kind of bullets used by Mexican cartels.

    Dennis Mekenye, owner of Demco freight company and boss of Bogan, said it would be "physically impossible" to hide 25,000 pounds of ammunition under the floor of a trailer that has a load capacity of 45,000 pounds.
    Also present at the press conference was Kevin Huckabee, father of an El Paso man imprisoned last year in Mexico on charges of smuggling marijuana into the U.S.

    Huckabee, who claims his son is innocent, has crusaded for the transfer of his son to a U.S. detention facility.

    Huckabee showed bullets like the ones Bogan was transporting and rounds for the Ak-47, the weapon of choice of drug cartels in Mexico.

    "The ones he was transporting would not fit in the chamber (of an AK-47)," Huckabee said.
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