News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

U.S. says it nabs gunrunner arming Mexico drug gangs

PHOENIX (Reuters) - U.S. police have arrested the alleged leader of a gunrunning ring supplying high-powered rifles and pistols to Mexican gangs battling for a key drug smuggling route, authorities said on Thursday.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said police nabbed Victor Varela, 23, in Tucson, Arizona, on Wednesday on charges that he fraudulently purchased .50 caliber rifles and other firearms through a confidential informant.

William Newell, the senior ATF agent in Phoenix, said the weapons were bound for cartels in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas.

"The quick action by ATF in this investigation exemplifies our commitment to cut off the illegal flow of firearms to violent criminals in the United States and Mexico," Newell said.

Late last month the Mexican government sent soldiers and heavily armed federal police to the gritty Mexican border city, where drug gangs locked in an all-out turf war have killed more than 200 people since January.

ATF said Varela acquired a number of firearms, including handguns and several .50 caliber "Barrett" rifles, through illegal third-party sales called "straw purchases."

The firearms were smuggled into Mexico through border crossings in Columbus, New Mexico.

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