By Terri Jo Neff |
While the main focus along the southwest border is on who and what is coming into the United States, the director of one U.S. Port of Entry in Arizona is making the public aware of the strides his officers are having at keeping firearms from getting into the hands of cartel members in Mexico.
Michael Humphries has been the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Nogales Port Director since 2018. His responsibilities include two major border crossings—the Dennis DeConcini POE and the Mariposa POE—as well as the Morley pedestrian gate, the Nogales International Airport, and the Rio Rico railyard.
On Sunday, Humphries tweeted about a southbound vehicle that was preparing to leave the U.S. on Sept. 22 through the Nogales POE.
“As officers spoke to the driver, a K9 alerted to the trunk area of the vehicle and the driver fled,” Humphries wrote. “Officers were able to stop the car before it escaped into Mexico and found 3 AK style semi-auto rifles.”
Just days earlier, Humphries tweeted about a vehicle attempting to leave the U.S. with several firearms hidden in the cargo area.
Federal officials estimate more than 200,000 firearms were illegally trafficked last year from the U.S. into Mexico, particularly through Arizona and Texas crossings.
A tracing program operated by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Mexican government shows more than 70 percent of guns used in criminal activity in Mexico came from the U.S.
One of Humphries’ tweets from June featured the seizure of a machine gun, 20,000 rounds of ammunition, and other firearms, all of which were headed into Mexico.
A few days before, CBP officers encountered two men attempting to walk into Mexico with assault weapons taped to their bodies.
And in May, Humphries tweeted about the seizure of 10 rifles concealed in one vehicle headed to Mexico.