Mexican LEO's arrested at Phoenix Gun show
Three high-ranking Mexican officers arrested at Phoenix gun show
The Associated Press
Sept. 12, 2007 09:54 AM
PHOENIX - Three high-ranking Mexican police officers were arrested over the weekend for buying weapons at a gun show in Phoenix in violation of a law barring non-citizens from purchasing firearms, a federal official said Wednesday.
The three include the director of the Baja California Sur state police and a commander of the federal police in Baja California, said Tom Mangan, a spokesman with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Phoenix.
The three had crossed the border at Calexico, Calif., in an official police vehicle and driven to Phoenix. They were arrested by Phoenix police and ATF agents after buying three handguns and about 450 rounds of ammunition Saturday at the gun show, Mangan said.
He said it appeared the officers were buying the handguns for their personal use.
Phoenix police booked Carlos Alberto Flores, 36, the Baja California state police director, on state weapons misconduct and conspiracy charges, according to a Phoenix police report. State police Commander Guillermo Valle Medina, 33, was booked on the same felony charges, as was Jose Santos Cortez Gonzalez, 41, a top-ranking federal police official.
They posted bond and were released from jail, Mangan said.
Phoenix police, Mesa police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents running an enforcement program at the gun show overheard Gonzalez negotiating with a dealer for two guns, then watched as he bought them, according to the police report.
Officers followed Gonzalez and Flores back to their Chevrolet Suburban, which was armored and equipped with bulletproof windows. They went back inside, met up with Valle, and continued buying ammunition and gun supplies before leaving, according to the report.
Police stopped their vehicle after they left the gun show, searched it and found the three handguns and the ammunition, the police report said.
Mangan said Mexican officials have been pressuring U.S. officials to cut off the supply of weapons going south.
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