Rifles, semi-automatic weapons, ammunition found in ice chest

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TUCSON - The following is a release from the U.S. Border Patrol Tucson Sector:

U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Tucson sector discovered seven assault rifles, two semi-automatic handguns, one rifle and several thousand rounds of ammunition concealed in a pickup truck.

On March 7, agents assigned to the Ajo station working near Lukeville stopped a suspicious red Ford Ranger traveling south on State Route 85.During inspection both occupants appeared nervous and gave misleading information. Further investigation led to the discovery of five SKS rifles, two AK-47 rifles, two semi-automatic 9mm pistols, one CVA 50 caliber rifle and several thousand rounds of ammunition hidden under clothing and within an ice chest. Both occupants, a United States citizen and a Permanent Legal Resident from Mexico, were taken into custody.The weapons and ammunition were seized.Agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will continue with the investigation.

Much of the firearms violence in Mexico is committed by drug trafficking organizations. Chief Patrol Agent Robert W. Gilbert said that "The fact that we were able to prevent these weapons from making their way into the hands of drug cartels means that they won't be used in illicit activity.That is the real success story here."

The Border Patrol is committed to reducing crime in our communities and improving the quality of life for our citizens.Since October 1 st of Fiscal Year 2009, the Tucson sector has seized more than 20 different weapons.In Fiscal Year 2008 there were 88 weapons seized.