MCALLEN, Texas — A raid of two ranches in the state of Jalisco turned into a first for Mexican authorities when they uncovered a drug cartel’s underground weapons factory.
The Attorney General’s Office in the state of Jalisco along with their federal counterparts raided two ranches in the state’s rural area, and announced that they had seized 18 assembled rifles, Jalisco prosecutor Luis Carlos Najera said in prepared statement.
Authorities arrested four men who were part of the weapons manufacturing group. Mexican authorities have reached out to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to help with the case since some of the parts found at the clandestine factory appear to be recently made parts from the U.S, according to the statement.
Preliminary information shows that the group manufactured weapons for the Cartel Nueva Generacion de Jalisco as well as various criminal groups in Michoacán.
The find is the first of its kind for Mexico a country with very restrictive firearm laws that have resulted in only the police, military and drug cartels having them.
Despite the restrictive law, Mexican cartels have been able to consistently get firearms, grenades, rocket launchers and other equipment that rivals that of the Mexican military. The cartels access to weapons has allowed them to not only fight each other but to also put up a fight with authorities leading to regular hours long shootouts near the Texas, New Mexico and Arizona border as well as in other Mexican states that have a heavy cartel presence.
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