Truck driver carrying $100k in ammo arrested after making wrong turn into Mexico

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- A Valley businessman is out $100,000 after a truck carrying his ammunition made a wrong turn in Texas. The driver is now in a Mexican prison.

Jabin Bogan, 27, was driving a load of ammunition from Tennessee to Phoenix, with a stop in El Paso, when he took a wrong turn.

Stuck in border traffic, Bogan was forced to go all the way into Mexico.

Bogan's attorney said a U.S. Customs agent told Bogan he could take a U-turn once in Mexico, but when he tried to come back, Mexican border agents searched the truck, which contained 27,000 rounds of ammunition. It's against Mexico's firearms law to bring ammo into the country without prior permission. Bogan was arrested.

"My son is innocent and I am here pleading the mercy of the Mexican authorities to just find it in their heart, their heart of hearts, to let my baby come home," said Aletha Smith, Bogan's mom.

Bogan has been appealing his charges. If convicted he could spend five to 30 years in prison.

Meanwhile, a Valley store owner can't wait for Bogan to be released.

All of the ammunition that's now in Mexico was on its way to Howie Glaser's Phoenix shop, the United Nations Ammo Co. at 19th and Glendale avenues.

"It's devastating for us," Glaser said. "We're a small business. That ammunition is so needed right now in the shooting community, in the United States. It's in very short supply and it's hurting us."

"Please keep Jabin Bogan in your prayers," the message at the top of the company's home page read. "He is an innocent working man imprisoned in Mexico for doing his honest job. He made a wrong turn by accident!"

The 308 rounds are mainly used for hunting rifles. Surplus ammunition is in such high demand that Glaser says there's no way he could replace it now.

"We don't have the ammo right now that people need," he said. "We can't replace that load. Even if we had the money, we couldn't say 'send us more.' We bought out the last of it, there is none of that ammunition in this country."

Still, what's more important, Glaser says, is getting Bogan home.

"It's sickening," he said. "It's heart-wrenching. This is an innocent guy. This is a working man that's trying to earn a dollar, trucking, that made a mistake."