McALLEN, Texas — Federal agents arrested a legal permanent resident from Mexico who bought 5,000 rounds of ammunition for smuggling into the Mexican border city of Matamoros — the scene of large-scale internecine Gulf Cartel gun battles.
The arrest took place over the weekend when 48-year-old Ruben Ramos Beltran went to a local gun store and bought 5,000 rounds of ammunition, a criminal complaint obtained by Breitbart Texas revealed. Authorities describe the man as a Mexican national who is a legal resident in Texas. Homeland Security Investigations was carrying out a surveillance operation at the local gun store and spotted Ramos pick up an order of 5,000 rounds of 7.62×39 ammunition, a type typically used in AK-47 type rifles which are heavily favored by cartel gunmen.
The agents followed Ramos and had a Hidalgo County Sheriff’s deputy carry out a traffic stop on the vehicle. During the stop, the man told the deputy he had ammunition in the vehicle and agreed to a search. The HSI, along with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, pulled up to the scene to interview Ramos. The man told the agents that he was taking the ammunition to a storage room in Brownsville. From there, another man would take it into Mexico. Ramos claimed he would be paid $400 for his part.
Immediately south of Brownsville is Matamoros, Tamaulipas, the bastion of one of the factions of the Gulf Cartel. As Breitbart Texas has been reporting, for more than a year, the faction from Matamoros has been fighting with rival factions to take control of the border city of Reynosa and their lucrative drug trafficking and human smuggling routes. The fighting has led to more than 500 murders and executions since May 2017.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and Stephen K. Bannon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.