Published: 05.23.2007

Suspected arms smuggler awaiting extradition to Mexico
A suspected arms smuggler wanted by Mexican authorities is in federal custody after U.S. Marshals arrested him in Tucson late last week.

Braulio Eloy Villegas Borquez was arrested Friday and is being held without bond until his extradition to Mexico, according to information released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office Wednesday.

Villegas Borquez was driving into Mexico through a port of entry in Naco on Nov. 26, 2005, when Mexican customs officials searched the trunk of his vehicle and found several weapons.

The officials found two AK-47 assault rifles, two Romanian rifles a machine gun and several ammunition clips concealed in a guitar case, a backpack and in cardboard boxes, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Villegas Borquez could not verify he was in legal possession of the firearms. As the investigation continued at the customs office, authorities heard a gunshot and a white Ford pickup truck drove up.

Villegas Borquez then ran out of the office, jumped into the truck and fled into Mexico.

A warrant was issued in Sonora for his arrest on Dec. 23, 2005, for smuggling firearms and munitions reserved for use by the Mexican Army, Navy and Air Force.

The extradition will be handled by a federal prosecutor with assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service.