Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

147 Assault Rifles Seized in Laredo Texas

A joint operation between the Laredo Police Department and the Webb County Sheriff’s Office resulted in the seizure 147 fully automatic AK-47 assault rifles, 263 high capacity magazines, 53 bayonets and 10,000 rounds of ammunition on Saturday, May 30 in the border city of Laredo Tx.

This city is located across the Rio Grande from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, a stronghold of the powerful Zeta drug cartel.

This is the second large seizure of assault rifles in South Texas within the last 2 weeks (see “Marine Corp reservist caught attempting to export….” on this site)

It is believed the weapons were in the process of being illegally exported into Mexico.

According to authorities, the Laredo Police Department initiated a traffic stop on a van after receiving a tip from the Webb County Sheriff’s Office Crime Stoppers Division. The Sheriff’s office had received anonymous information that the van was transporting illegal contraband.

The vehicle was stopped heading east on International Boulevard. The passenger of the vehicle, who has not been identified, attempted to flee on foot before being apprehended. Officers then discovered the arms cache inside the van.

In a press conference on Tuesday announcing the seizure, local and federal authorities said this was the largest assault rifle bust in the U.S within the last 10 years.

“Certainly, in the wrong hands, the devastation could have been incredible,” said LPD Chief Carlos Maldonado. “All you need to do is look at the news accounts from Mexico. You’ll see that this is comparable (to) a lot of weapons being used in Mexico.”

"I think this demonstrates more than anything else that we are responding to protect our citizens, protect our borders and protect this great country of ours,” added the Chief.

“This is going to create a big blow to the narco-trafficking because we believe it was heading south,” said Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar.” they are having a lot of trouble over there at this point...getting a hold of these arms."

“This is something long term, because federal agencies are involved. We can’t discuss the mechanics of it yet.” Stated Sheriff Cuellar

A federal investigation is ongoing.


  1. 147 fully automatic AK-47 confiscated in the US! How about the ones who say it is impossible to get fully autos in the US and that all the AK-47 came from other countries other than the US?

    We see constant news of these busts in the US (found a few others here on this site) and of all these busts, there are hundreds more that don't get caught.

  2. It is highly illegal to possess a fully auto rifle in the U S without a federal tax stamp which is tough to get. These guns are illegal to possess in the US , but money talks you have the money any weapon that exists can be bought anywhere in the world anytime Russia has flooded the world with AKs for the last 40 years. So there you have it illegal guns going to Mexico where its illegal to own a non permit gun of any type. This guy needs to spend the rest of his life breaking up rocks in the sun---

  3. "How about the ones who say it is impossible to get fully autos in the US and that all the AK-47 came from other countries other than the US?"

    First of all, fully automatic, not on sale in the U.S. unless stolen at an army base or law enforcement agency. Second, AK-47 are not made in the U.S. and just because the seizure happened in the U.S., does not mean U.S. supplied the riffles. the way the borders are, I think and this is only my opinion, it is easier to smuggle across the border on land than a shipment by air from another country.

  4. good job, now... beat the truth out of this bastard..then go after his buddies...this could be the tip of an iceberg

  5. What people seem to forget is that it's the easiest thing in the world to convert an AK from a semi-auto to a full-auto rifle. All it takes is to file down a certain part of the rifle.

    Plus reporters have a bad habit of saying a rifle is full auto because of the way it looks when it's actually semi-auto. Case in point the Marine reservist case, I'm positive those rifles were semi auto, along with a bunch of the ARs seized in Mexico. Reporters that know nothing about weapons look at those black military style rifles and assume they are full auto assault rifles with out actually knowing for sure if it is.

    From my point of view anyone that shots those rifles in semi auto should be more effective and more deadly if he has some idea of marksmanship. Full auto is just a waste of bullets.

  6. The follow up on where the guns came from will make an even better did full auto guns make it to their hands...much less 147 full auto guns.

  7. It's common tactic by the media to hype up their story. If any full automatic AK-47s' are going to mexico their coming in from international territories (Russia , Bulgaria , Albania ,China and Central & South America.) Only AK's coming from U.S into Mexico are from gun shows legally purchased with FFL licenses. Bet your bottom dollar on it.....

  8. I'm not sure what source was used to determine that the AK-47s were full auto. I read at least seven different press reports on this incident, and all of them said the same thing - that they were boxed-up AK-47s, and that's it. I have yet to see anything that corroborates this post's claim that they were actually full-auto. I also agree with the previous poster regarding the ease with which AK-47s can be converted from semi-auto to full-auto.

  9. This was because of an anonymous call. How about if the USA starts working and cooperating, and not leaving all the work to Mexico, especially because the main problem is because of the great demand for drugs in the USA.

  10. We would love to "not leave all the work to Mexico". Talk to the two presidents about tightening up the border. None of this will get better until we control the border and stop the flow of illegal traffic (goods and people) in both directions.
    P.S. The weapons were caught in Laredo, TX. Not in Mexico.

  11. compitas, vamos a tener que unirnos contra estas pinches lacras de los zetas y pistoleros k no les hacemos nada y nos estan chingando, todos someos pacificos pero ya estubo,o tados no van a desapareser, el gobieno no puede por k a ojos visto se esta comprando por millones de dollares,pero la pobre gente esta sufriendo bien go,y yo vivo me estados unidos,pasemos la palabra,vamos a ayudar a mexico necesitamos saber de sus pensamientos y ideas, y vamos a ganar, tenemos a los mejores presidentes, ahi k hacer algo, antes de k sea muy tarde,estamos trabajando en unos servidores con linux k podran ser traced, para ustedes k conocen algo d como corre la informacion over the internet protol,van a poder dejar sus ideas y localizasion de como piensan usteded de la mejor manera de ayudar a mexico y al presidente, envez d nomas criticalo

  12. A conversion kit for AK-47s from Semi to Auto used to cost about $20 bucks..

    A glance at the photo and I was back in Mexico!
    What's next, parading all of the captured suspects, hands bound, swollen faces, in front of deputies wearing ski masks? Maybe some black sheets for back drop?

  13. Response to Sylvia Longmire: Initial local TV news coverage stated that the weapons were "fully automatic".

    I thought about this and felt that the reporter was probably echoing a statement from one of the authorities present at the news conference.
    Also the presence of the bayonets was intriguing. According to my understanding of TABF regulations the presence of bayonet lugs on legal semi auto assault weapons is illegal (non-compliant in TABF language). Thus, a bayonet lug on an assault rifle might be indicative of a military "full auto" weapon. It is pointless to have a bayonet with a semi auto AK without the lug as the bayonet would not attach and would fall off when tilted downwards.

    Also the June 2nd edition of the Laredo Morning Times has a frontpage photo of these weapons that show a row of AK's, some of which clearly display baoynet lugs. I was unable to include this photo since it is a paid subscription site that does not allow for downloads of images. (Sorry my scanner is broken)

    Look at the news story video included in the link above. At -1.02 into the story there is closeup where a weapon with a bayonet lug is clearly present. Also the safety selector switch on a semi auto AK has only 2 settings: all up for safety or all down for safety off semi auto. In a fully auto AK the selector has a 3rd setting in the middle for full auto fire.
    at -0.45 on the news video there is a close up of a weapon that appears to have the safety selector at the middle "full auto" setting.

    These are the reasons I decided to echo the initial news report of "fully automatic" weapons.

  14. Good observations and reporting Gerardo!

  15. file the little sear pin, it is a little nub on the trigger and you have a full auto...but why even take the time ...semi-auto is deadly enough, especially with full metal jacket ammo, goes right through a car like nothing..i wish Mexico would hire American mercenarys to come down an help kill some of these pinche madres...yo odio mucho these arrogant culero narcos, i would bring my own equipment for free...

  16. Note to Pres. Calderon: Your precious assault weapon ban would do nothing. Especially on these since the full auto AK type weapons are already illegal in the US except with a special $200 tax stamp and about 6 months of background checks and such weapons are really really expensive. And cannot be made new or imported since 1986 so they are also rare.

  17. Time for the CIA to send in the drone planes!

  18. most of them look like ak-74 made by zastava ( yugoslavia) and for the short ones those are the latest import form serbia also made by zastava i believe they go by the name krinkov

  19. - "According to my understanding of TABF regulations the presence of bayonet lugs on legal semi auto assault weapons is illegal (non-compliant in TABF language)."

    Your understanding is wrong. Bayonet lugs are NOT prohibited features. They are in fact quite common on legal civilian-owned AR-15s.

  20. "Easily converted" to full auto? If you want to go to Federal prison for 10 years and pay a $250,000 fine.......

  21. "What people seem to forget is that it's the easiest thing in the world to convert an AK from a semi-auto to a full-auto rifle. All it takes is to file down a certain part of the rifle."

    You're not only wrong, you are possibly a moron for this statement alone. If you file down the disconnector and pull the trigger, you may very well get more than one round to go off. Problem is that if you do so, the gun will be firing out of battery (Meaning not locked up) and you will have an explosion on your hands. 30,000psi going off in your face is guaranteed to ruin your day.

    And thos AK's are either semi only or if they are full auto, came *FROM* Mexico to the U.S. not the other way around. There are barely enough full auto AK's in the U.S. alone to have more than 50% of them busted there. Journalist of this article is either ignorant or is purposefully distorting the truth.

  22. File the sear pin and you have a gun that keeps firing until it's out of ammo, no matter what you do.

    The 'Full Auto' setting on a real AK is all the way DOWN, not the middle setting. Those are just semi-auto clones.

  23. There isn't a single part you can file down on a AK to make it fire full auto.

    Filing down the sear pin ,disconnector, firing pin ,ect will either make the gun not work , or fire out of battery. It *May* fire a burst of ammo which would be by sheer luck , and has about a 50/50 chance of exploding on you. The only TRUE way of making one full auto requires a machine shop , drill presses and a fabrication process. It can be done, but it's quite difficult. Those of you that say it can be done with a file are just regurgitating stuff you've read online from armchair commandos.

  24. lol funny how people actually take the time to argue over the internet .. makes u feel Power-full don,t it

  25. Guides to converting AKs to full automatic are readily available online and can be accomplished with as little as a twist-tie (obviously the latter method is fairly unreliable).

    If the media's reporting is correct (and that's a big "if") then my suspicion is these weapons were legally bought in the United States and converted. It's unlikely AKs were brought into Texas, where they're readily available, when they are worth so much more in Mexico.


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