Two trailers transporting ammunition to the United States were ambushed by armed criminals on a Mexican highway. Most of the ammo is small-caliber and won’t be useful for drug cartels, the manufacturer said.
The shipment of approximately seven million rounds was intercepted earlier this week on a highway in Guanajuato, a Mexican state plagued by violence stemming from the drugs trade. The drivers of the two trucks were found alive.
Around 98.5% of the rounds were .22 caliber, a low-powered ammunition that is typically used for target practice or hunting small game. Mexican cartels – known more for their heinous acts of violence than for their hobby squirrel hunting – are usually armed with powerful AK-47 and AR-15 rifles that use high-velocity rounds.
A spokesperson for the ammunition’s maker, Tecnos Industries, said that the stolen rounds will be of little use to drug cartels, noting that they don’t use .22-caliber weapons.
But it’s possible that the ammo will still find its way to the black market. In the past, authorities have caught people selling improvised “pen” guns, single-shot weapons disguised as pens that use .22 rounds.
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It’s not uncommon for weapons and ammunition to move between Mexico and the United States – although most cases involve illicit gun running. Last month, a Texas highway patrol trooper discovered more than a dozen firearms and over 3,500 rounds of ammo after pulling over a suspect who was believed to be heading to Mexico.
Mexico has been struggling for years to rein in drug cartels. Much of the violence has been blamed on assault weapons smuggled into the country from the United States.
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