MCALLEN, Texas — Smugglers allegedly working for the Mexican Gulf Cartel appear to be choosing to go for the more discreet look of concealed carry weapons when it comes to firearms. Gaudy jeweled handguns had previously been the fashion choice of cartel members.
The apparent choice of concealed carry weapons was revealed after federal authorities caught a Texas border man apparently trying to smuggle 16 handguns including 11 that are known as pocket sized handguns, ammunition and weapon magazines.
The arrest took place when officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection stopped 27-year-old Joseph Ezequiel Gonzalez as he tried to drive into Reynosa from the Texas border city of Hidalgo, court records obtained by Breitbart Texas revealed.
In the border city of Reynosa, all smuggling activity is controlled by one crime syndicate known as the Gulf Cartel. That criminal organization has made a name for itself in recent years for a series of large-scale gun battles where cartel members use machine guns, grenades, explosives and other military type weapons. Breitbart Texas spoke with a Tamaulipas law enforcement official who stated the demand for smaller concealable weapons points to an apparent shift in strategy for cartel members. In the past cartel members have never been discreet about their activities; however, the demand for smaller handguns could allow cartel members to more easily blend in public settings while still carrying a weapons.
During a search of Gonzalez’s 1999 Ford F-150 pickup truck, authorities found eleven pocket sized handguns, five 9mm handguns, thirty-two handgun magazines and 2,000 rounds of ammunition.
The pocket sized handguns are Glocks model 42 which are known in the sport shooting community for their small size while at the same time being an accurate and reliable weapon.
CBP officers arrested Gonzalez and then turned him over to agents from U.S. Homeland Security Investigations for investigation and prosecution. It was during an interview with agents that Gonzalez told them that he had previously smuggled a load of firearms into Mexico and he expected to be paid around $500. Court records show that Gonzalez did not identify the people that he would deliver the weapons to.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Ormsby ordered that Gonzalez be held without bond pending trial.