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Republished with permission from

Mexican authorities seized USD 11.5 million in cash hidden in a truck carrying strawberries at a customs checkpoint near the US border, officials said today. The stash was concealed in 306 packages wrapped with black plastic, at a checkpoint just south of the city of Sonoyta, Sonora. Sonoyta is 2.5 miles south of the US border and Lukeville, Arizona. This occurred on Sunday although it was not reported to the public until Tuesday. The discovery was made . . .

after a gamma-ray scanner found “a variation” in the cargo, said the defense ministry in a statement. Some 30 boxes of ammunitions, in various caliber, were also found in the truck. The statement did not say whether the truck was coming from or going to the United States. The driver was handed over to prosecutors.

Drug cartels regularly ship weapons and cash from their drug proceeds into Mexico from the United States.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: drug cartels are a loose, ever-changing confederation of criminals, from drug lords to plaza bosses to drug mules and soldiers. While some “entrepreneurs” at the sharp end may pick up firearms in the U.S., the cartels have tens of thousands of guns that somehow “seeped” from official U.S. and foreign sales to the Mexican police and military.

The cartels also have access to tens of thousands more firearms from the millions of guns sent south by Uncle Sam and his allies/enemies to support one government or cartel or another. Straw purchases account for a statistically insignificant percentage of cartel arsenals. Given the drug thugs cash stockpiles – which total billions of dollars – the cartels need U.S. gun store guns like Donald Trump needs to remove his PC filter.

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    • The idea that they’re buying semi-auto AKs for $600 one at a time through illegal straw purchases from U.S. dealers when they do get full-auto AKs for $90 on pallets flown in on like a DC-3 from ex-soviet-block countries and other nations is preposterous. The drug cartels have more money and power than the Mexican government. They make purchases like a government does, not like a single criminal would.

  1. Gamma ray scanners…

    As in gamma rays that are really bad for you? Now I’ve heard of X-rays, millimeter waves, etc., but gamma ray scanner is new to me. Anyone care to tell me how long this has been around?

    • Years. They have been used to scan trailers at the border and container shipping at ports in permanent installations, and there are now mobile units that fit in a van.

    • Yes, they’re bad for you because they’re ionizing radiation that, like X-rays, can break molecular bonds and damage DNA, among other things. But X-rays can do that too, so gamma rays aren’t necessarily any worse for you than an equal dose of X-rays.

      The idea here is that they’re scanning cargo — where no one is supposed to be. Just one more occupational hazard (among many) of being a stowaway.

      • So….which is worse, a gamma ray machine, or illegal Mexicans entering with drugs and sending guns and non-taxed greenbacks back south, and maybe adding a few/ten thousand babies a year to our welfare state along the way? I take an x-Ray please. Some points The Donald spews are good ones.

        • I’m completely in favor of scanning cargo at the border – using x-rays, gamma scanners, whatever – as long as that technology stays at the border crossings and doesn’t get deployed, say, by my local PD to illegally violate the 4th Amendment.

          I wouldn’t want to stand in one while it’s operating (that was my point) but I agree we need to screen what crosses our borders, and X-ray/gamma scanners are far more economical than hand searching.

        • Want to really dismantle drug cartels? Just do like was done against the Bootlegers, legalize the product. Done. Way better than any cheap fascism being spilled by that guy.

        • What Vitor? And cut into the wages and pensions of our police, the Correctional officers, the judges and the DEA, as well as the bribe money some of our intrepid enforcers make on the side? Then there is the money and goods the police get from being able to keep the assets they seize in their “asset forfeiture” violations.

          No, there is too much money, power and control the establishment receives in the War on Drugs, to end such a Golden Goose voluntarily, until we, the people, demand it.

    • The only practical difference between gamma rays and x-rays is how they are created. In the case of the scanners, X-ray is the more correct term. They don’t scan the trucks with the driver on the cab, and there is no residual radiation after the scan. So no, there is no danger to anyone.

  2. You really have to ask yourself, “okay, they reported finding $11,000,000.00. How much do you think they actually found?”

  3. Some of the cartels get their guns from Enrique Peña Nieto. He inherited the gun store from Felipe Calderón. Who took over from Vicente Fox.

    You think Obama is the world’s greatest gun salesman? He’s an amateur compared to Mexico’s Presidentes.

  4. Does that mean idiot americans will embrace the civilized world and start strict gun control to protect their own people and country?

    It’s working fine in many other western countries including my sweet safe gun-nut free country. In my country criminals never use guns because being caught stealing is a light sentence, but simply having a gun makes it worse. Using the gun and killing and you will never see the light of day again.

    And since no homeowners have guns or are allowed to kill here criminals because we value life and sanity.

    But how is a gun a self-defense weapon? A tazer is one because it’s designed for that. A gun is designed to kill, that’s why the criminals use it. And a criminal with the intent of using a gun will win against a person using a gun for defense.

    And having a gun in your home is just another gun the burglar can sell on the streets or use against the home owner or the home owner likely using it on themselves or a loved one.

    But alas that will never happen because idiots americans and will cling to their obsolete second amendment in hope they defend themselves against their own windmills.

    Your website is no but patent propaganda from the gun manufacturers/NRA. The NRA are their political wing now. Still more people are killed by people they know who have guns plus the accidents with children, etc. It is your view that is overly exaggerated and full of propaganda. As I stated before all the gun owners of a certain midset are out gunned by the military. You cannot fight gunships drones, cruise missiles and Abrahms with AR-15’s and AK”s (note the ISIS leader killed today) so if THEY really wanted you you are already dead: THEY do not need you to register your guns as they already have a very good idea who already owns them as the NRA tracks owners and the government can track them.

    Makes me glad I live in a safe educated civilized country where guns are not easy to get.

      • From a person who lived in Europe for 7 years back 25 years ago, I am 100% certain he is not from Norway either. I was an USAF SP back then with a lot of friends who were host country law environment officers and whatnot. Although these countries do not air their laundry like we do, they have crime issues just as serious as we do. Sure, the US has a few liberal cities with gang problems, but if you take the average city in a red zone in the US, the Europeans have more violent crime than we do. I am not sure using Norway as an example really makes his case. Norway is “officially the Kingdom of Norway” and “is a sovereign and unitary monarchy”, and quite frankly, I would fight to the death to prevent the US from sliding toward a monarchy and/or unitary state.

        • Everything you said I believe. What really clues a person in is that the troll is not who he says he is that his posts bear a remarkable resemblance to a troll going by “Argon the Antiquarian” earlier this year, and to a troll who went by a couple of names with “Australian” in the user name(amusingly enough, in his first moniker, he misspelled “Australian”). 😀

    • You know Norway has guns, right? Kind of a lot of them, actually, compared to the rest of Europe.

      Not that I actually believe that you’re Norwegian. You’re just a troll, and you’ve convinced me to donate some money to the NRA-ILA. Well done.

    • I love you Janusha_Norway! You are always so entertaining! A moment of deep thought in an otherwise hectic world. You keep on keeping on with your anti-gun self!

    • Jan
      Watch Jim Jeffries much? You just copied his bit almost perfectly. Or is his bit the new standard for the anti crowd?

    • It’s funny in a very ironic way that you mention windmills as you’re doing a very good Don Quixote… Wrongheaded and futile but don’t let me stop you… Bring on the clowns… I can almost hear the circus music…

    • “In my country criminals never use guns because being caught stealing is a light sentence, but simply having a gun makes it worse.”

      In my country, criminals never steal because they will get shot…dead.

  5. I agree wholeheartedly.

    If you are a cartel then why would you pay retail? You could buy a container-load from any Communist country and have it shipped by sea to any Mexican port. The cost of clearing Mexican customs would be a pittance. And, of course, you would be getting select-fire vs. hard-to-convert semi-automatic.

    The other obvious avenue is to buy from military or police officers who are responsible for their respective arsenals. Your cost of goods would be zero, but you would have to pay a hefty bribe to the officers to take a chance on being disciplined. Again, you are apt to be able to obtain select-fire guns.

    If you buy from Bob’s you are paying retail. Then, you have to pay the straw-buyer and the mule who brings it across the border. Then the Mexican customs officials both at the boarder and again at the interior check-point. It’s hard to get economies-of-scale here. Each straw buyer needs to be paid for buying a few guns at each of Bob’s various branch stores. Then, you would have to accumulate the inventory at some US site in order to get a full-truck-load pricing on moving across the boarder and the interior check-point. You aren’t going to get select fire.

    I have no doubt that there is plenty of gun smuggling being done in small quantities from US straw-buyers. It’s a separate question as to who the retail customers are. It’s hard to imagine that the retail customer are the cartels. Much more likely they are either petty criminals or non-violent Mexican citizens who are acquiring guns for self-defense.

    Contrary to popular belief, Mexico’s constitution secures the right of the people to KEEP, albeit, not bear arms. And so, plenty of Mexicans have guns in their homes. In rural areas they carry with impunity; but not so much in urban ares. The police and military don’t much care about home owners keeping a gun or two in their homes. If you should be caught with it the most likely consequence is that they will confiscate it. If you were law-abiding enough to register the gun they probably wouldn’t have a pretext on which to confiscate.

    • Maybe gun laws in Mexico have changed in recent years for the better? About 20 years ago a Mexican national friend was visiting my home here in the U.S and asked to see my gun collection. Showed him a wide range of weaponry and he absolutely loved the .45 Colt gov’t models. Commented that it was virtually impossible in Mexico to legally own a handgun, and if he was to get caught with one it was a mandatory 4 years in a Mexican jail. He lived in Mexico City … so possibly gun laws outside that city are less ridiculous?

      • The DF (Mexico City) is kind of like LA or NYC in that they often have their own sets of laws that set standards for the rest of the country, but the only legal gun store in Mexico is in the DF. If and when you are approved by your local Army commander to buy a firearm then you have to travel there to buy it. Your friend was mistaken on one point, however – it’s not that hard to buy a gun, but you can’t buy a .45 in Mexico. Calibers are limited to “non-military” and that’s primarily .380 and .22 for a pistol.

    • Heh, you clever dog, you.

      Yes Eric Holder did, but ATF screwed it up so bad, selling a few strawman sales through sores they strong armed into playing along, to every Tom Zeta and Dick Sinaloa, and random Harry FBI CI, that they ended up getting BorderPatrol agents and hundreds of innocent Mexican civilians shot, just like the experienced street agents said they would….it got so bad that HRC had to shut it down, just two weeks after she was repeating the already discredited 90% of assault weapons from US local gun stores lie, in a speech to Mexico’s congress,

      And had to move her international gun running ops, from Mexico, with CIA help, to Benghazi…and we know how THAT worked out….

      A YOUTUBE did it…

  6. It would only take about $10 million to make a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant to manufacture their own firearms. That is a drop in the hat … and enables them to manufacture thousands upon thousands of firearms. Why buy when you can roll your own?

    • Well…. they did just confiscate 11.5 million. Maybe that particular pile of 20 million minus finders fee was on its way to build exactly what you said.

  7. Mexican authorities report finding $11.5 million. Of course, that was all that was left after they took their usual “finders fees” and took 2 days to hide it before reporting the “$11.5 million.”

  8. That amount of money and people think they dont have access to arms dealers? You know, the same people who arm militias and rebels around the world?

    The cartlels can get full auto AKs, 50 cals and RPGs all day long, they have the money and the resources, the US is hardly the main supplier of arms to the cartels.

    • Yep. I dont think the narco’s in Mexico are shooting at Mexican Army helicopters, or blowing up armored luxury SUVs or shooting up groups of innocent school teachers with a couple dozen Bushmaster with semi-auto switches, from the Cabelas or Walmarts in Phoeniz and El Paso, or the fly-blown dusty LGS and pawn shops in the border towns, amigo.

      Thats for chumps, small timers, pendejos, who dont have el plato o pluma, to threaten el perro, aka the Mexican government (army, navy, federales, justiciales, any who have m16s from US State Dept admined and CIA brokered Foreign Arms Sales, in Mexico, just like State delivers them all over the world. Its just a lot easier to buy them that fell off the truck, in quantity, after paying la mordida to the military and corrupt pols who deal in quantity…

      Why this is a big secret is no secret if you just remember its how things work in Mexico, with a dash of Thug Life Stoopid mixed in with the Chicago Way…remember, Obama promising Brady, “working on it under the radar screen”.

      • Small-timers that don’t have a plate or a feather? Is that some weird Mexican idiom, or should that be plata (silver) o plomo (lead)? Anyway–I think you are on to something there, the idea that the cartels are buying over-the-counter semi-autos at retail is pretty damned ridiculous.

  9. A truck was hauling a load of strawberries into Mexico from the US? Not likely. I’d say that was a pretty good indication of the direction it was going. And there is any number of r4easons they could have been taking money North. Probably time to pay certain politicians.

  10. Someone has to do the heavy thinking in this country. Might as well be me.

    With all the illegal immigration from Mexico emptying out many of their states, and the persistent destabilization confounding Mexico in establishing their idea of a stabile government, why not solve all these problems at once?

    Let’s invade Mexico, kill a bunch of people who give us lip, and proclaim them as the next phase of Manifest Destiny?

    • “With all the illegal immigration from Mexico emptying out many of their states,”

      DG, many Mexicans are Catholic, meaning the more that leave Mexico are replaced with the output of the poor’s favorite form of recreation…

  11. I’d have to agree. I just don’t see El Chapo trolling looking for free shipping promo codes for his Cabela’s firearms purchases.

  12. The cartels have built freakin’ submarines to bring drugs into the U.S. Anyone who thinks they are wasting their time with straw purchases at Arizona and Texas gun stores is a fool.

    • In all fairness, they’re not true submarines but semi-submersibles.

      Boats that float just barley on the surface.

    • OK Genius, then why do folks keep getting caught at the Reynosa and Pharr crossings taking 2 and 3 rifles south? It’s practically a daily event.

  13. I do believe a lot of guns are going south. They aren’t going to the Cartels. Why pay full retail, one gun at a time for civilian weaponry? The cartels can move tons of product in custom made submarines- moving military grade weapons is nothing to them.
    The guns that are going south are to the smaller time criminals and the citizens of Mexico who can’t get access to firearms via conventional means.

    • Of all the misinformed opinions here this guy is the closest to reality. One of the gun dealers that I did business with in McAllen wound up on the Fed’s watch list because of the large numbers of weapons bought from them that wound up in Mexico. To group all cartels and their buying habits together is a rookie mistake of conservatives that are clueless about Mexico. Clearly there are plenty of weapons being purchased at dealers in the USA but the larger cartels like el Chapo’s group probably have the clout to buy in quantity from other sources. At one time the Zetas were elite military and their managers had military-issued weapons but lately the kids that had taken over have crappy stuff like old AK-47’s.

      • If the actions of the former BATF Special Agent in charge’s actions. The bulk of weapons going south are high end Pistols.

        He was caught straw purchasing these type of weapons and some were traced to murders in Mexico. Specifically, the murder of a beauty queen.

  14. Probably coming IN full of full auto Chinese guns with no serial numbers to arm the LA gangs who support the Cartels.

  15. Bob’s could be indirectly supplying the smaller cartels who don’t have enough patronage to get proper hardware.

    But the major players can get proper assault rifles with the Spanish equivalent of “Property of Mexican Government” stamped on the receiver, and often the owner for a modest extra fee.

    If the cartels need extra muscle they can hire corrupt members of the military and/or police with equipment at either day rates or on retainer.

  16. According to testimony by the Commander of Southern Command before a Congressional Committee a few years ago.

    The Cartels purchase the vast majority of their arms from the Armories of Central American military. That is why 95% of the weapons seized by Mexican authorities are never submitted to the FBI and ATF to determine their origins.

    It is the same reason that following Bush I band on automatic weapons, The price of a Full Auto Uzi dropped to $500 in south Arkansas and a legal Semi Auto Uzi went to $1,800. The dope smugglers were selling their newly manufactured Singapore Uzi’s to the pickup people who were receiving their cargo of drugs.

    Economic principles apply in criminal enterprises the same way they apply to normal commerce.


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