U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the San Diego Sector seized more than 53,000 gun parts being smuggled from China. The incident occurred at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport.
CBP officers teamed up with investigators from the Machinery Center of Excellence and Expertise (CEE) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to intercept and seize 52,601 gun parts in August. The parts arrived at the seaport in three separate shipments, according to CBP officials.
Officials report the seized gun parts from China included sights, stocks, muzzles, brakes, buffer kits, and grips. The estimated street value of the items is estimated at $378,225.
CBP officers seized the parts and turned them over to ATF agents who confirmed the shipment of these gun parts is a violation of the Arms Export Control Act and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 27 CFR 448.52, officials stated.
“This seizure is an exceptional example of CBP officers and import specialists vigilance, commitment and keen focus in enforcing complex arms embargo regulations,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “The Chinese Arms Embargo is just one of the hundreds of regulations CBP enforces, ensuring the safety and security of our country.”
China is one of the countries listed by a United States arms embargo, officials reported.
“We work closely with our strategic partners to ensure import compliance while maintaining the highest standards of security at our nation’s largest seaport,” remarked LaFonda Sutton-Burke, CBP Port Director of the LA/Long Beach Seaport. “This interception underscores the successful collaboration between CBP officers, import specialists and ATF investigators.”
On August 18, CBP officers assigned to the Detroit Metropolitan Airport screened a Chinese passenger arriving on a flight from Beijing. The passenger made a declaration he was not carrying any prohibited items, CBP officials reported.
Officers conducted a search of the Chinese man’s luggage and found undeclared ballistic armor and other tactical clothing. The discovery led to investigators obtaining a search warrant for the man’s U.S. residence, CBP officials stated.
A search of the home uncovered a “significant weapons cache.” The cache included prohibited items including high capacity magazines and “bump-stock” devices, officials said.
CBP officials designated the man as “inadmissible” and returned him to China.