NUEVO LAREDO MEN’S CLUB MANAGER CHARGED IN ATTEMPT TO SMUGGLE AMMUNITION INTO MEXICO
(LAREDO, Texas) – Raul Alvarez, 29, a U.S. citizen and the business manager of a men’s club in Colonia Mirador, Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, has been arrested and charged with attempting to smuggle hundreds of rounds of ammunition from the United States into Mexico, acting United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.
Alvarez was arrested Dec. 11, 2008, after a random Customs and Border Protection (CBP) outbound inspection at an international bridge in Laredo resulted in the discovery of 282 rounds of ammunition, three pistol magazines and eight assault rifle magazines in a compartment in the rear passenger quarter panel of the vehicle Alvarez was driving. The ammunition and the vehicle, a 2000 Ford Expedition, has also been seized.
Following further investigation by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a federal criminal complaint accusing Alvarez of willfully attempting to export ammunition in violation of federal law from the U.S into Mexico was filed on Monday, Dec. 15, 2008. Alvarez appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Diana Saldana the same day and was ordered released upon posting a $100,000 cash or surety bond. After being informed of his right to a preliminary examination hearing, Alvarez formally waived that hearing in open court.
The charge of knowingly and willfully exporting ammunition from the U.S. to a place outside the country in violation of federal law carries a maximum punishment of 10 years imprisonment without parole and a $250,000 fine.
The charges are the result of the seizures made by CBP and an investigation being conducted by the Department of Homeland Security Border Enforcement Security Force Task Force led by ICE with the participation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI and the Laredo Police Department. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Diana Song.
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