By Karen GleasonDel Rio News-Herald
Published June 22, 2010
Del Rio police have seized a load of assault rifles, handguns and ammunition they said may have been headed to Mexico.
A Ciudad Acuña, Coah., Mexico man was arrested when the weapons and ammunition were discovered in his car following a traffic stop, Del Rio Police Department Chief Arnaldo Ramos said Monday.
Ramos said Carlos Enrique Aguilera Valdez, 22, was arrested about 10:30 p.m. Thursday, June 17, after two DRPD detectives stopped his vehicle for a traffic violation at Avenue T and West Second Street.
DRPD detectives Ray Hernandez and Eddie Cortez were following up on a burglary investigation when they saw a Chrysler Sebring with Mexico license plates failed to stop a stop sign at the intersection of Avenue T and West Second Street at 10:15 p.m. June 17, Ramos said.
Ramos said the vehicle stopped near the intersection of Spur 239 and Avenue T. The chief said the two detectives approached the vehicle and began talking to the driver, identified as Aguilera Valdez.
Ramos said Hernandez and Cortez reported the driver “appeared extremely nervous.” He said as the two detectives continued to talk to Aguilera Valdez, they saw a box of bullets spilled in the back seat of the car.
“Further investigation by the two detectives led to the discovery of 11 assault rifles, four handguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition inside the car,” Ramos said Monday.
Ramos said the guns recovered by the detectives included three M16s, four AK-47s and four M4s. He said the handguns were of various calibers.
Ramos said the detectives also found 61 loaded assault rifle magazines and 123 boxes of ammunition for the assault rifles, as well as magazine pouches, holsters and “other tactical gear.”
Ramos said DRPD detectives and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are working together to further investigate the incident. He noted that prosecution of Aguilera Valdez has been turned over to the federal government.
Ramos said Aguilera Valdez has been charged with the offense of possession of a firearm by a non-resident alien, a felony under federal law.
Aguilera Valdez was scheduled to make his initial appearance before a federal magistrate today.
Asked if he believed the weapons found in Aguilera Valdez’s vehicle were going to Mexico, Ramos said, “We believe that they were.”
Ramos added the investigation into the weapons seizure is ongoing.