Gun Shipment Destined for Cartel Seized by Border Patrol

( – Border Patrol officials in California seized a shipment of AK-style semi-automatic rifles on their way to Mexico after a man and his minor brother were caught with the weapons attempting to cross the border.

California resident Jose Palma Almendariz as well as his 17-year-old brother were found in possession of 25 rifles, two handguns, and several magazines in Blythe, California on June 12th. Federal charges are expected against the men and authorities believe the firearms were destined for Mexican cartels.

Both suspects were arrested by local police. Almendariz is being held pending a bail hearing and formal charges while his younger brother was released to their parents and will remain free for now.

Yuma Sector Chief Patrol agent Sean McGoffin said that the seizure demonstrates the importance of Border Patrol and that the bust was the largest shipment captured by their office in recent years.

Officers from the Coachella Valley Violent Crime Gang Task Force were dispatched to aid the investigation. They believe, after interviewing the suspects, that the weapons were picked up in Phoenix, Arizona before they began their trek toward Mexico. Blythe is only 100 miles from the border with Sonora, a Mexican state where cartels have been battling between each other and amongst themselves. Recently, a clandestine mass grave was discovered which authorities believe is related to the clashes.

The Sinaloa Cartel controls most of Sonora, and they’ve had internal struggles with splinter groups recently. The Sinaloa Cartel is also engaged in a long-term struggle with the Juarez Cartel along the eastern border of the state.

Weapons, drugs, and victims of violent crime are all regularly trafficked across the southern border. The southern border crisis continues with Biden’s recent executive order to shut down the border having little noticeable effect in the field.

Border Patrol officials in the neighboring Yuma Sector have invited members of the media to join them in their routine patrols revealing how dangerous illegal migration across the southern border can be. Officials with the sector reported an average of 750 people illegally crossing the border every day in June despite Biden’s executive order.

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