Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Smuggled Ammo Seized at Oakland Port

Thousands of rounds of ammunition were found hidden in the air filters of three cars that were recently scheduled to be shipped to Mongolia from the Port of Oakland, federal authorities revealed Feb. 7.

US Customs agents seized about 2,300 rounds of ammo after authorities making an enforcement exam on an outbound shipping container at the port in early December noticed discrepancies.

While searching the three cars in the container, high-power rifle and shotgun rounds were found, Customs & Border Protection field office spokesman Frank Falcon said. The container was then taken to a secure location and unloaded.

When the vehicles – a 2006 Lexus RX400, 2006 Toyota Land Cruiser and 2007 Toyota Camry – were disassembled, more ammo was found in the air filters, Falcon said. The undeclared ammunition included a Winchester .22-caliber long rifle and Remington 12-gauge shotgun shells.

The ammo and three cars are valued together at more than $45,000, according to Customs.
Officials said the investigation has determined that the smuggling attempt was likely that of an individual acting alone, not an act of organized crime.

Authorities say the vehicles are registered to an area resident, but would not reveal his name because no charges have been filed in the case, and no arrests made.

“The penalty was the resident had to forfeit the items,” Falcon said.