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

Thursday, December 16, 2010

As Mexico Drug Violence Runs Rampant, U.S. Guns Tied to Crime South of Border

Washington Post

No other state has produced more guns seized by police in the brutal Mexican drug wars than Texas. In the Lone Star State, no other city has more guns linked to Mexican crime scenes than Houston. And in the Texas oil town, no single independent dealer stands out more for selling guns traced from south of the border than Bill Carter.

Carter, 76, has operated four Carter's Country stores in the Houston metropolitan area over the past half-century. In the past two years, more than 115 guns from his stores have been seized by the police and military in Mexico.

As an unprecedented number of American guns flows to the murderous drug cartels across the border, the identities of U.S. dealers that sell guns seized at Mexican crime scenes remain confidential under a law passed by Congress in 2003.

A year-long investigation by The Washington Post has cracked that secrecy and uncovered the names of the top 12 U.S. dealers of guns traced to Mexico in the past two years.

Eight of the top 12 dealers are in Texas, three are in Arizona, and one is in California. In Texas, two of the four Houston area Carter's Country stores are on the list, along with four gun retailers in the Rio Grande Valley at the southern tip of the state. There are 3,800 gun retailers in Texas, 300 in Houston alone.

"One of the reasons that Houston is the number one source, you can go to a different gun store for a month and never hit the same gun store," said J. Dewey Webb, special agent in charge of the Houston field division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. "You can buy [a 9mm handgun] down along the border, but if you come to Houston, you can probably buy it cheaper because there's more dealers, there's more competition."

Drug cartels have aggressively turned to the United States because Mexico severely restricts gun ownership. Following gunrunning paths that have been in place for 50 years, firearms cross the border and end up in the hands of criminals as well as ordinary citizens seeking protection.

"This is not a new phenomenon," Webb said.

What is different now, authorities say, is the number of high-powered rifles heading south - AR-15s, AK-47s, armor-piercing .50-caliber weapons - and the savagery of the violence.

Federal authorities say more than 60,000 U.S. guns of all types have been recovered in Mexico in the past four years, helping fuel the violence that has contributed to 30,000 deaths. Mexican President Felipe Calderon came to Washington in May and urged Congress and President Obama to stop the flow of guns south.

U.S. law enforcement has ramped up its focus on gun trafficking along the southwestern border. Arrests of individual gunrunners have surged. But investigators rarely bring regulatory actions or criminal cases against U.S. gun dealers, in part because of laws backed by the gun lobby that make it difficult to prove cases.

All of the stores among the top 12 have had double-digit traces of "crime guns" to their stores from Mexico, a statistic that can be a red flag for investigators. A high number of traces does not necessarily signal wrongdoing. It could be the result of sales volume, geography or clientele. Carter's Country, for instance, is the largest independent gun retailer in the region. Most experts and ATF officials agree that the majority of dealers are law-abiding.

Many dealers tip off ATF when they suspect "straw purchases," in which a person buys for someone who is prohibited from owning a gun, a common practice in Mexican gunrunning cases. Many of the dealers "view themselves as the first line of defense," said Lawrence Keane, general counsel and vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a firearms industry trade group.

The foundation and the National Rifle Association aggressively challenge statistics that show 80 to 90 percent of the weapons seized in Mexico are first sold in the United States, calling the numbers highly inflated. After being criticized by the gun lobby, ATF stopped releasing such statistics this year.

"To suggest that U.S. gun laws are somehow to blame for Mexican drug cartel violence is a sad fantasy," said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action.

Cox said guns are coming to Mexico from other Central American countries and from former Mexican soldiers who have U.S. weapons and are now working for the cartels.

ATF disagreed, saying the biggest factors are the high number of dealers along the border and the convenient location.

"When you look at the highway system in Mexico, the main highways that come into the United States are through Laredo and Brownsville," Webb said. ". . . As long as it is cheaper and easier to come to the United States to buy them, that's going to be the source they'll go to."

Guns from the United States "have been feeding the violence and overwhelming firepower being unleashed by drug traffickers," said Arturo Sarukhan, Mexico's ambassador to the United States. "We need to defang drug trafficking organizations of these high-caliber and semiautomatic and automatic weapons, and we need to do it now."

Sources: Washington Post analysis of ATF data.

The flow of guns
To examine the gun flow from the United States to Mexico, The Post reviewed hundreds of court documents and federal reports and interviewed Mexican officials and dozens of current and former U.S. law enforcement officials.

ATF in 2006 launched Project Gunrunner - a program that now involves more than 220 agents who make criminal cases against gun traffickers and about 165 inspectors who check gun dealers for compliance with federal regulations. The agency has conducted about 1,000 inspections in the border region, leading to the seizure of more than 400 firearms. Two dealers have lost their licenses to sell guns.

On the criminal side, a recent Justice Department inspector general's report called the program weak and ineffective, with most of the cases brought against single defendants hired to buy small numbers of firearms.

U.S. law enforcement has traditionally focused on seizing drugs moving north from Mexico, not guns moving south. In 2008, only 70 guns were seized at U.S. border crossings.

The cornerstone of the $60 million program is gun tracing - tracking weapons to the dealers who originally sold them. It has long been considered a powerful tool for combating trafficking.

But the Justice IG report said that Mexican gun tracing has been "unsuccessful." ATF officials complain that, in the past, most guns seized in Mexico were not traced. Although the number of traces has increased, problems persist, ATF officials say.

"We're not getting all the information we need from them," said Bill Newell, special agent in charge of ATF's Phoenix field division.

Mexican officials say they send information in but get little that is useful in return. An official in the Mexican attorney general's office called tracing "some kind of bad joke," the Justice inspector general's report said.

A Government Accountability Office report on Project Gunrunner found that ATF has not done "recent systematic analysis and reporting of aggregate data," hampered by congressional restrictions on the tracing information. ATF officials said that they do analyze the data and that tracing information has led to some major cases.

One investigation showed that 23 traffickers had purchased more than 335 firearms, including 251 rifles, from 10 dealers. One of the suspects bought 14 AK-47s in one day from one dealer.

About one-third of the weapons were traced to incidents in Mexico involving 63 deaths, including those of 18 law enforcement officers. Some of the guns ended up being seized at the site of the "Acapulco Police Massacre," where drug gangsters disguised as soldiers invaded two offices of the state attorney general and killed three investigators, one prosecutor and two secretaries. One gun sold at Carter's Country was recovered 65 days later by police investigating the kidnapping and murder of a businessman.

Fifty of the guns were purchased at three Carter's stores, including 29 at the chain's flagship store in Spring, Tex. When one of the traffickers purchased eight Bushmaster .223-caliber sniper rifles for nearly $9,000 on May 12, 2007, an employee of the store contacted ATF.

The ringleader of the gun buyers was U.S. citizen John Phillip Hernandez, a 23-year-old unemployed machinist living with his parents. He pleaded guilty last year to one count of making a false statement to a gun dealer.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark White asked for the maximum 10-year sentence.

"He knew [the guns] were going to go to drug killers in Mexico," White said.

Hernandez got eight years.

There was no indication that the gun stores named in court documents - Carter's Country, Academy Sports and Outdoors, and Collectors Firearms - had done anything wrong. All three retailers are on the list of top 12 stores.

The Academy purchases by Hernandez were at an outlet in Houston. Another Academy store in McAllen, about 10 miles from the border, has had about 95 traces in two years. After the Hernandez case, Academy stopped selling all military-style tactical weapons, including AK-47s and AR-15s, at its eight stores near the border.

In the rest of the chain's 120 stores, such "assault weapons" are limited to one per customer per visit.

"We wanted to do what we can to make sure that our firearms aren't contributing to the border problem," Academy spokeswoman Elise Hasbrook said.

Collectors owner Mike Clark said the 60 traces to his Houston store were insignificant given the store's volume, which he would not reveal. "Pretty small, I'd have to say," Clark said.

Carter's Country
In his "Ol' Bill Sez" commentary atop his weekly newspaper advertisement in April, Carter made light of the guns leaving Texas for Mexico: "Why all the talk about guns going south when so many drugs are coming north that our cows along the interstate are gettin' high off the fumes!"

Volume might factor into why many dealers are on the top-12 list, including Carter's Country, which sells thousands of firearms and is the largest independent gun retailer in the region.

Greeting a reporter last month in his store in Spring, standing near giant ivory tusks and stuffed grizzly bears and lions, Carter declined to be interviewed. "I'd like to talk to you, but I just can't," Carter said. "We're in litigation."

Dogged for years by lawsuits over his business practices, Carter pushed for the 2003 federal secrecy law governing gun traces because trial lawyers had been using the information in lawsuits against gun stores.

"If the gun-ban lawyers succeed, the floodgates will open," Carter said at the time in a newsletter he issued as president of the Texas Gun Dealers Association.

In one suit, a former employee who filed a wrongful-termination suit said Carter's Country permitted straw purchases. Carter's Country, which settled the suit for a small amount, denied the allegations.

In another case, a man who killed a Houston police officer said he bought the murder weapon, a 9mm Smith & Wesson, "in the name of my wife" at Carter's Country in Pasadena, outside Houston. An illegal immigrant who had been convicted of a felony sex offense, he was prohibited from buying a gun.

The officer's wife, Joslyn Johnson, a Houston police sergeant, alleges that Carter's Country knew the sale was illegal. "I think it is all about money and that it is a common practice for them," Johnson said. "They are putting guns in the hands of criminals."

Carter's Country denies the allegation, saying the gun was purchased legally by the man's wife.

Small-time gunrunners along the border are known as "hormigas," the Spanish word for ants. Hernan Ramos, a 22-year-old U.S. citizen, was one of them. On May 17, 2008, he headed to a gun show in Arizona, where he bought an Olympic Arms .223-caliber rifle from a Tucson firearms business, Mad Dawg Global.

That same day, a friend of Ramos's, another U.S. citizen, bought two more .223-caliber rifles from Mad Dawg. Over the next three months, the two men and several of their associates returned to Mad Dawg repeatedly to buy rifles.

They smuggled the guns across the border, an hour south of Tucson, to "Rambo," a member of the Sinaloa drug cartel.

All in all, Ramos and nine others bought 112 firearms worth more than $100,000 - 30 from Mad Dawg and the rest from 14 other firearms dealers across Arizona, court records show.

The hormigas were eventually arrested and charged with firearms violations. Ramos, one of the ringleaders, was sentenced this summer by a federal judge in Tucson to four years and two months in prison.

No charges were brought against any of the gun dealers involved, and there was no indication the dealers did anything wrong.

One of the dealers, J&G Sales in Prescott, ranks third on the top-12 list, with about 130 of its guns traced from Mexico over the past two years. The store owner said he is diligent about making legal sales.

"I would stand by every transaction we make at the time we make it," said J&G owner Brad Desaye. "But I'm disappointed to hear that number. It saddens me. It should not happen."

The lack of charges against dealers is not unusual, in part because it's difficult to prove a straw purchase took place.

"If you're a gun dealer and you see a 21- or 22-year-old young lady walk in and plop down $15,000 in cash to buy 20 AK-47s, you might want to ask yourself what she needs them for," said Newell, the ATF special agent in charge in Phoenix. "If she says, 'Christmas presents,' technically the dealer doesn't have to ask for more."

Under federal law, a gun dealer who sells two or more handguns to the same person within five business days must report the sales to ATF. The agency has identified such sales as a red flag, or "significant indicator," of trafficking. But multiple sales of "long guns," which include shotguns and rifles such as AK-47s, do not have to be reported to ATF.

The Justice Department inspector general said in a report last month that "the lack of a reporting requirement of multiple sales of long guns - which have become the cartels' weapons of choice - hinders ATF's ability to disrupt the flow of illegal weapons into Mexico."

Over the years, the gun lobby has successfully opposed such a requirement, arguing it is not needed, because long guns are far less likely to be used in crimes. But the percentage of long guns recovered in Mexican crimes has been steadily increasing, from 20 percent in 2004 to 48 percent in 2009, reports show.

"The reasons that the deaths are so high in Mexico are the long guns," said James Cavanaugh, a former high-ranking official with ATF. "The velocity of the round and the amount they can put out quickly is what makes it so deadly."

Roadblocks for ATF
The biggest case ATF brought against a gun dealer in Project Gunrunner illustrates the obstacles agents face when they try to do something about stores sending guns to Mexico.

It was a case that seemingly had everything in its favor.

Corrupt gun stores usually are hard to catch because law enforcement needs evidence that the stores knowingly sold weapons intended for criminals. In this case, the agents had tons of evidence: surveillance, recorded phone calls, confidential informants and undercover agents posing as straw buyers.

In late 2007, ATF agents busted suspects who told the agents they had purchased hundreds of weapons from a single dealer: George Iknadosian, who owned a Phoenix gun store called X-Caliber.

Agents examined the dealer's traces and found that 86 guns had been recovered by police in the United States and Mexico between 2005 and 2008. Of those, 47 had been traced from Mexican crime scenes.

The store had sold 710 guns of the types known to be popular with Mexican drug cartels - more than 500 AK-47s and SKS-style rifles, plus one especially lethal .50-caliber Barrett rifle capable of piercing armored vehicles.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Phoenix declined to take the case, because it started out with low-level straw-purchaser charges and was going to require a lot of time and resources to develop further. So ATF took the case to the Arizona attorney general, who worked on it for more than a year with the Phoenix Police Department.

Iknadosian instructed undercover agents posing as straw purchasers about how to sneak weapons across the border, advising them to cross on weekends and Fridays when border agents might be off fishing.

"When you guys buy them [guns], I run the paperwork, you're okay, you're gone," he said. "On my end, I don't give a crap."

Iknadosian was charged with violations of state fraud, forgery, racketeering and money laundering laws.

"This was an amazingly well-prepared case," said Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard. "The evidence was all there. There is no question what was going on."

But in March 2009, a state judge, Robert Gottsfield, dismissed the case before it went to the jury.

"The judge's decision was inscrutable," Goddard said. "It was a real shock to our office."

Iknadosian's attorney, Thomas M. Baker, said he showed on cross-examination that ATF's informants were not credible.

"The ATF and Terry Goddard decided to give every single one of them probation if they would testify against George," Baker said. He said the conversations with Iknadosian were "out of context."

In an interview, Gottsfield defended his decision, which he said was one of the few times in 30 years he had dismissed a case before it went to a jury.

He agreed that there was ample evidence against Iknadosian, but he called the case "overcharged."

"There certainly was evidence that Iknadosian was selling to people who were not buying the guns for themselves, and that's a class-one misdemeanor," Gottsfield said.

About guns going to Mexico from the United States, the judge said: "It is a terrible problem. They have to do something about it."
Research editor Alice Crites and staff writer William Booth contributed to this report.


  1. Pure bullshit! I detest reporting that looks at only a fraction of the facts and tries to land blame on people who are following the law. If you have purchased a gun you know you must fill out forms and wait for a background check by phone from the federal ATF office. There is a waiting period of several days for a handgun unless you hold a Concealed Carry license. Blaming firearms dealers for this problem is not reasonable. Massive amounts of drug money and human greed is part of the problem. The other part is corrupt mexican officials turning a blind eye and an open hand for the mordida. Don't forget that Mexico's economy is the pits, there are very few jobs, very low pay and thousands of adults and teenagers with no clear path to improving their economic status. Some of that drug money we all cuss is feeding these poor assed people and their loyalty is NOT going to be with the Mexican govt. It is a vicious circle with no clear and simple answers. The U.S. does much more to control the flow of cash and contraband into Mexico than Mexico does. Gun control in America is NOT going to fix the Cival War in Mexico!

  2. Pure bullshit! I detest reporting that looks at only a fraction of the facts and tries to land blame on people who are following the law. If you have purchased a gun you know you must fill out forms and wait for a background check by phone from the federal ATF office. There is a waiting period of several days.....

    That is a LIE!!!!!!!

    go to any of the GAZILLION GUN SHOWS that show up around town and youll get approved in a mater of minutes. i have seen this as i atend regularly. i have also seen 1 guy get turned down while i waited. sucks to have a muslim name right now is what i thought to myself.

  3. uhuh..more gun control propaganda....

    wasn't the total guns traced to the 12 dealers just a few over 1000 guns...

    1000 guns is not the problem in Mexico...

    just let them all have clubs and i bet the death toll dosen't diminish much.

    i do advocate gun control as defined this way.....

    gun control...having ,owning , maintaining, and being able to CONTROL a gun with enough dexterity in order to be able to hit what you are shooting at...

    to me the gun control argument is simple...

    there is a large group of armed men called the US government who are telling me that i should give them my guns....

    .they say they want less people to own guns

    maybe they should give me their guns, as i most likely paid for them through my taxes...

    then there would be less people with guns...

    another definition...of gun control...

    when one group has guns and and they use them to CONTROL the other group who have no guns

    this is what the gun control people advocate ...whether they know it or not

  4. in the state i live in it is a big pain in the ass to buy a gun...background check waiting period...a big hassle ... i think this article represents some glaring problems with some gun dealers ...not the true picture overall...

  5. Old Hat story,Washington Post BS. Mexican Narcos can and do get weapons anywhere they want, the US is probably the easiest,but to raise hell with the US about narcos getting guns in the US is Crazy. We can not stop Mexicans from smuggling drugs to the US and Mexicans can not stop Mexicans from smuggling weapons into Mexico. The only good news is that hopefully some guns are going to good people who can defend themselves when the kidnapper/extortion/thief crew shows up. To Liberals it is insane that people must be able to defend themselves,after all the Government will protect you and your property Right-WRONG and we all know it, But Political correctnes dictates that guns are bad and need to be removed from the public,so just look at the results Mexico is great example,the old cleache outlaw guns only owtlaws will have guns Narcos in Mexico are having a field day WOPEE!!

  6. Do you really think Mexico will stop the flow of drugs going in to the US, while US continues to supply high powered guns into Mexico that kill innocent people and kids??? NO they don’t care to stop the drugs that kill Americans if US continues to not care about guns!!!

    This will never end. Right now it’s mainly low level dealers killing each other…but it’s sad that innocent people get caught in the middle…


  7. This story was completely debunked on CNN and Fox news. American weapons have serial numbers that can be tracked all the other weapons coming from south America and central America do not have serial numbers so those weapons are destroyed and never tracked. The number of American guns with serial numbered guns in Mexico is 17% of all weapons. I wish some one would post the facts on these lies because we see them printed in stories everyday.

  8. When will reporters follow up on arms crossing Mexico's southern border and coastline? WikiLeaks reveals that the U.S. knows that Mexico has no control there.
    Are these reporters lazy or are they liars?

  9. Borderland Beat has published lists of the models and serial numbers of weapons confiscated in Mexico. Those lists alone are enough to debunk this story. Story, as in deliberate lie.

    The foundation of the lie is two parts. The first is in selective tracking of guns whose markings indicates they were made or sold in the US. Ignoring the vast majority of crime guns confiscated.

    The second part is the massive corruption on the part of Mexican police, who often demand a "toll" for visiting Mexican nationals to pass; and who search their vehicles for contraband, including guns. And often find what they are looking for.

    17% of guns recovered in Mexico came from the US. Most stolen guns are backhaul from drug operations; but a good third of those are confiscated from Mexicans in Mexico.

  10. The reports are only specific to US made guns. There are hundred of thousand AK 47s and other Russian munitions that are not accounted on these reports. This is liberal propaganda.

  11. "When you guys buy them [guns], I run the paperwork, you're okay, you're gone," he said. "On my end, I don't give a crap."

    There you have it. This fuking prejudiced redneck doesn't give a shit that children, women an innocent men are being murdered by the shit he sells. The Mexican government should just legalize dope and put the problem in the hands where it belongs ...American consumerism

  12. I have been crossing international bridges on our border daily for almost 3 years now. I can tell you I have been stopped entering Mexico by US authorities and had my vehicle thoroughly checked for weapons maybe 2 times in those 3 years.
    I could have brought thousands of arms into Mexico all by myself. The US authorities do almost NOTHING to try and control the flow of money and weapons into Mexico.

  13. The number of misinformed statements made in this comments section is laughable. A staggering number of you spout your right or left wing rhetoric without even paying attention to the facts.

    Let's start with something really, really basic. If you are getting your "facts" from Fox News, you should probably do a little more checking.

    Simple fact: the ATF says that approximately 80% of the 90,000 guns captured originate in the US. The 1000 guns are all that the media was able to get information on because the government protects that information.

    To all the gun nuts out there, the government is NOT trying to take away your homes, rape your children and make you a slave to the state.

    Let's face the facts. The US is the source of the majority of the weapons. But the simple fact is that it is Mexico that lets all these guns into their country. As the border guys and police shake down travelers on trumped up charges.

    However, there is a lot to be said for the argument that there is no place and no need in civil society for semi-automatic rifles that are only designed to kill people. With stricter controls, it would be harder for the nuts to get hold of them.

    Also, simple facts: the vast majority of the world has restrictions on such weapons AND have per capita gun crimes that are a miniscule fraction of the crime in the US. So how good are all these guns in the hands of "good people" if it is not deterring crime.

    This is not a simple problem. It is complicated. And it is not going to be solved easily.

  14. We Can fix this overnight, just pass more laws ,Problem Solved-- What Idiots are taking that position--True Progressives-Legalize drugs ,Criminalize Guns, WOW Democrats will create a NATIONAL HOLIDAY.

  15. I just heard almost 200 prisoners broke out of the Nuevo Laredo Prison!

  16. So 185 guns were found to have been originally purchased from Carter. He was four stores, easily sells 40+ guns a month, per store for the last 20 years means he has sold 38,400 guns. .0026% of his guns have been used by criminals in Mexico. Good stats.

  17. How about this. Imagine if every gun in the USA magically disappeared and the flow of guns from USA to Mexico stopped.

    Would there be any decrease in violence in Mexico?

    Hell no!!

    So the fact that some of the guns in Mexico come from the US is meaningless. It is a symptom, not a cause of the violence in Mexico. The only purpose this article has is to serve an anti-gun agenda.

    But I'm only preaching the choir here since stupid people hold on to their stupid ideas and reasonable people already know this. Yeah, its really liberal and peaceful to hate guns and makes you feel good about yourself but lets concentrate on the problem. Prohibition, Crime, Corruption, Greed etc..

  18. Guns breed war and war breeds gun proliferation...

    Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.
    James Madison

    The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today—my own government.
    Martin Luther King Jr.


  19. The store owners could just use the same lame ass excuse Mexico uses about drugs..... It's only supply and demand! If the Mexican consumers would stop using American guns, we would stop supplying them.

  20. So the top 12 dealer had a total of 1140 guns recovered in Mexico but the same article says over 60,000 guns have been recovered in the last 4 years. So only 1.9% of the guns recovered were from these dealers.

    Sounds like they're getting the guns from somewhere else......

    Sounds like the dealers are a pretty low on their supply chain.

  21. there are no guns in Mexico..

    there now problem solved..

    no more crime in Mexico..

  22. @9:49, it is traditionally the responsibility of a country to check and inspect INCOMING traffic, not OUTGOING traffic. Only places like North Korea and Iran detain you while trying to LEAVE the country. You complain about U.S. Customs not always checking you for guns when headed to Mexico, but what about Mexican customs? And how often have Mexican customs checked vehicles headed across the bridge to the U.S.?

  23. 11 tons of pot busted in chicago....tracked all the way from eagle pass texas

  24. @December 17, 2010 1:50 PM

    "So the fact that some of the guns in Mexico come from the US is meaningless. It is a symptom, not a cause of the violence in Mexico. The only purpose this article has is to serve an anti-gun agenda."

    So lets spin this...

    So the fact that some of the drugs in the US come from the Mexico is meaningless. Its is a symptom, not a cause of the addiction in the US.

    What a bunch of BS...Americans you bear responsibility in this stupid drug war...its funny how Americans don't like to be blame for anything esp with the facts are stack up against you...grow up!! Both countries bear responsibility in this drug and demand..apparently some ppl forgot to take economics 101 haha...

  25. Blame the source of the guns, not the users of the guns...hmmm isn't that a++backwards. If the cartels were to disappear, so would the demand. The cartels are the problem, no one else, not even the consumers of the drugs.

  26. @Mike
    Ok the Washington Post doesn't have the manpower nor the budget like the ATF to go after every gun runner. They were just trying to make a point...but if you dont believe me here read these your 1.9 percent is debunked haha...

    Sounds like they are getting them from the U.S.......

    Sounds like ATF is saying otherwise haha...

  27. @December 17, 2010 5:55 PM

    Seriously?????????? "The cartels are the problem, no one else, not even the consumers of the drugs."

    You must be really high right now and hmmmm isn't your statement ass backwards!!! Drug consumers are what fuels this drug war you and demand...demand in drugs, which brings money to the cartels!!! Which in turn finances their WAR!! DUH!!!

  28. I also heard there was a huge prison break in Laredo, only my friend said it was around 140 fuckers. Supposedly both Laredo cities are on high alert. Calling all cars, calling all cars, be on the lookout for some dudes that just don't look right.

  29. Why does this fascinate people so much? Does it really matter, or change anything? I don't understand the obsession with the gun issue.

  30. It's the black market ladies and gentlemen. It's like saying that if Columbia banned cocaine it would never make it to the US.....wait it is illegal to posses cocaine in columbia already. You don't think if some one in Mexico is willing to buy a smuggled ar-15 for 3000-4000 us dollars some one is going to take the risk to supply the demand?
    For your information these are the prices that illegal arms sell for in Mexico.
    Beretta 92 9mm $1500.00 usd
    Norinco ak underfolder in semi $4000.00 usd
    Colt 1991 series 45 acp $1500-1700.00 usd
    Any brand ar-15 in semi $3000-4500.00 depending on accessories
    Cheapo romainian ak's 1500.00-2000.00 Usd
    Add about 1000.00 for any rifle that has been converted to select fire.
    I belong to a shooting club here in Colima mex and know these are the prices paid for illegal guns smuggled into the country.

  31. Oh great, 7:43, now you've done it! Just think of all the greedy, drooling mouths hanging open at the mere mention of these figures. It's enough to turn an honest man crooked, and to turn my gut and my ire.

  32. @ J

    I agree with you..the south mexican border has only 300 soldiers all are at the north US/Mx border. everything gets thruthe south there..guns, drugs, people. and so what??? Whereas we should crack down on any unlawful trafficking of guns seems like this is a case of picking the wrong battle.

    Mx gov always blames the US, and we are cuplable to a degree, but who the hell else is helping Mx with DTO??s...and lets turn this around and say ...ok so


    I got busted for bringing school supplies one year because they were from China, hell I didn't know it was a crime, same with school uniforms they took my car! and I had stopped to declare the supplies...good ol Mx stops a Buela with her supplies for special needs kids, and just maybe when the 4 border guards were busy with me and my dangerous school supplies then missed the vehicles driving past with fucking weapons...I am being facteous, but you get my point...

    if something is getting into our country it is our their country...theirs

  33. @ E1

    "Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest." -- Mahatma Gandhi

    Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power.
    -- Yoshimi Ishikawa, Japanese author, in the LA Times 15 Oct 1992

    False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. --Thomas Jefferson

  34. @anon 12-17 ....6:45
    ANON 12-17 6:45

    Need to check your facts first prior to posting so adamantly...each state constructs their gun laws. each is different and changes.

    Many are very liberal, Tx you can walk in and carry out the same day, you can have concealed weapons etc...NO WAITING not even need a permit...and lets not forget the Indian reservation exempt from federal and state laws and a big chunk of reservation sits smack on the AZ/MX border...
    Get the picture????

    and as mentioned before, you can go to any of the gun shows anywhere and buy a gun ..."collectors" of course.. yeah wink wink.. I went to one in Vegas just to check it out and this venue was huge, 100K sq ft filled with every possible weapon a bad person could want.

  35. 'Guns from the United States "have been feeding the violence and overwhelming firepower being unleashed by drug traffickers," said Arturo Sarukhan, Mexico's ambassador to the United States.'

    That's right. US made wars breed US gun trafficking and US gun culture and US gun culture and US gun trafficking breeds wars in other countries. Mexico's ambassador to the US is simply telling us the truth now but so many American citizens want to play deaf and dumb here...

    Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.

    James Madison

    The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today—my own government.

    Martin Luther King Jr.

    'They smuggled the guns across the border, an hour south of Tucson, to "Rambo," a member of the Sinaloa drug cartel.'

    And where did 'Rambo' get his name? From a famous US made movie made that glorified guns and war, that's where.


  36. @10:51 pm I'm sorry but these are the same type of figures your typical dope state drug dealer is looking at if not more as a profit from moving drugs into the state you live in. It sucks but it's called the black market. Contact leo if you see anything going on your area, we do the same.

  37. Anonymous Colima
    Thanks for the information on gun pricing.
    Can you give us insite into the flow from Romania, Paraguay etc??? (Non-U.S)

  38. buela
    please check your facts. In Texas there is no waiting IF you have a concealed handgun permit. In any case a dealer will call the ATF for approval.
    Please list the "gazilian" gun shows. I want to go. EP has about 8 a year.

  39. Anon....9:26

    I live in Tx...I know well the laws and the the changes in Tx and Az this year.

    Non can walk out the same day, the only thing "checked" is to see if your "ID" runs bad on in store check. most peopple are not stupid enough to go in and give an ID that would signal a problem.

    Don't be silly.
    I always check facts before posting.
    and the New law in DO NOT need a permit for a concealed weapon..

    and WTF??? who said "gazillian" not a word I typically use, maybe I was sleep talking if I did..

    I am supposed to tell you where the gun shows are? oh, just this once...


    etc etc etc

  40. sounds like Mexico needs to kick their gun addiction...demand creates supply...especially when the prices are posted on what a temptation...shheeiittt!!!..back in the day holmes..

    .so man who you sellin to?

  41. "A robber threatened his victim with a bottle of gasoline and a lighter... at an Internet café in Lake Mary, Florida.
    According to the Seminole County Sheriff's Office, the robber pulled out a water bottle that contained gasoline, threw gas on the store owner and then pulled out a lighter to demand money.
    That's when the owner, Hassan Malih, pulled out his gun and fired at the robber. The robber fled, authorities said."
    The robber was probably unable to obtain a firearm due to his criminal history. The honest hardworking store owner was able to protect his life and property though and another scumbag is taken care of. Mexico needs to take notice on why the USA will NEVER take away the right to bear arms.

  42. @8:30am
    I assume you want to know about how the weapons are smuggled from
    These other countries? It looks like Columbia and other central American countries are a gateway to the transport of weapons. From
    What law enforcement says around here some weapons arrive in cargo boats with drug shipments.

    @all others who are mad because I posted street prices of weapons in Mexico.
    Kilo of cocaine 30000.00
    Pound of mexican marijuana 1000.00
    Pound of domestic hydroponic marijuana 2500-4000.00
    I guess I just made a bunch of drug dealers overnight by posting these figures?

    Source: US department of justice drug threat assessment.

  43. @ernest1
    Where are you from, what's your nationality?

  44. Texas. From what long has been the most Right Wing leaning major metro area in the US- Dallas.

    @ernest1 Where are you from, what's your nationality?

    I hope that helped explain something to you? I had a severe allergic reaction to all that USA Right Wing dopiness starting from a very early age in the public schools.

    The US today has the entire world swirling down the toilet and the biggest dump in the bowl going down is the state of Texas clump of the USA cerrote. Any other questions for me? Please....


    PS I think that there might be too many triple sized hamburgers in our society. What do you think, Anonymous? A Mediterranean diet might just be better for us, in fact! One not so high on ground beefy bullshit...

  45. Buela wrote me..

    'Buela said...
    @ E1 "Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest." -- Mahatma Gandhi

    Buela, I dislike intensely the cult of pacifism amongst US liberal religious types and argue against their non effective methods of opposing the US war machine all the time. These liberal pacifist folk make a total cult figure out of their own false image of Gandhi- the latest coming of Christ in their eyes almost. Gandhi did not liberate the Indian subcontinenet from the British as much as Hitler's whipping of the British Empire during WW2 did. The US took over that Empire in other form post WW2.

    I myself am not for outlawing guns in the US per se, but for stopping the wholesale adoration of them and the adoration of the War machine the US rich has used to dominate the rest of the world with. Our current cultural adoration of armaments and army and cops, torture and jail cells is getting as gruesome as the culture of the Aztecs and Sparta was in their own ways.


  46. @December 18, 2010 11:32 AM

    Who said anything about taking away the right to bear arms?????? Go to the top of the page and read carefully!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. You are not only silly are dangerous
    in your thinking on so many levels. I posted words to ponder as you did yours. fair? YEP, you bet. Somewhere along the line of life a cult was effective in brainwashing you indelibly..prehaps CA..dunno..thank god most of us radical lefties saw the whimsy of our folly and embraced the real world and made choices and decisions of ideology of our own..

    and for all...
    clamp down on high powered gun sales along the border..

  48. BS BS BS.

    the cartels will get weapons from anywhere.. It is far harder to get them from the US than it is from africa or eastern europe. We don't sell grenades in the US.

  49. It is now mid 2011 and we know who supplied guns to the drug lords...." Fast and Furious". Not only that, this old report never bothered to check how many of these guns were sold to the Mexican Government by the US Government and then ended up in criminal hands. Just a minor detail I guess. If they are automatic rifles they were not purchased thru a gun dealer. Starting to look like this is all a setup to take away even more individual freedom. IMHO

  50. The NRA searches out these types of articles and attempts to lampoon them in the comments section. Another job well done.


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