A Tuesday raid conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as well as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement netted six individuals in Texas, including one who was in the country illegally, all for manufacturing grenades and selling them to undercover agents.
The proximity to the southern border, as well as the involvement of an illegal alien, brought up issues of violence and border security yet again.
“A total of six individuals remain in custody following their arrest on Tuesday after a criminal complaint was filed alleging the illegal receipt or possession of destructive devices that were not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record,” a statement from ICE read.
“Those arrested include Celin Javier Montoya, 23, Anthony Ozuna, 20, Alfredo Rivera, 24, and Pedro Vega, 40, all of Edinburg, Texas; Noe Gonzalez, 19, of San Juan, Texas; and Jonathan Sanchez-Torres, 19, an illegal alien from Mexico who was residing in Pharr, Texas.”
This definitely wasn’t a minor-league operation, either.
“The complaint alleges Ozuna and Rivera were attempting to broker the sale of improvised hand grenades or improvised explosive devices,” the press release read.
“The two men were allegedly acting on behalf of Montoya and Vega. According to the charges, from Nov. 5 to 11, ATF and HSI special agents conducted undercover operations and bought all the hand grenades Montoya and Vega had available.
“During the course of this investigation, ATF and HSI special agents discovered Montoya and Vega allegedly obtained the grenades from Gonzalez and Sanchez-Torres. The complaint also alleges that for about six months, Gonzalez purchased from a combination of online merchants and local stores all the components necessary to construct dozens of improvised hand grenades, including grenade hulls, spring kits, fuses and black powder. The assembled ‘live’ hand grenades were then turned over to Sanchez-Torres to be distributed, according to the allegations.”
While the investigation was still in its early stages, it highlighted one problem that a lack of border security has engendered — namely, a dramatic increase in violence. The McAllen (Texas) Monitor reported a similar case in the same area in 2009, when a man sold 183 grenades to undercover officers he believed were drug cartel members.
We have no idea what the motivation of these men were, but one thing is for sure: Texas and other border states are far less safe than they were when the Obama administration began. Whether it’s Mexican drug cartels or the criminals willing to supply them, the fact is that the deliberate inattention given to the border over the past eight years has been devastating. It’s put all Americans in danger.
It’s time for real border security — and thankfully, we will soon have just the president for the job.
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