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Press Release

Mexican man admits exporting ammunition inside boxes of dog biscuits

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

McALLEN, Texas – A 25-year-old Mexican national has entered a guilty plea to exporting ammunition from the United States to Mexico, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

On Nov. 15, 2019, Esteban Ramirez-Torres approached the southbound checkpoint at the Hidalgo Port of Entry. There, authorities noticed boxes of dog biscuits with black tape at the bottom along with bags of dog food that had been stapled shut.

Upon further inspection, they discovered 4,000 rounds of 7.62x39mm caliber ammunition and 30 AK-47 style rifle magazines hidden amongst the dog food and boxes of biscuits.

Ramirez-Torres admitted he knowingly smuggled the ammunition illegally into Mexico. He also acknowledged purchasing the dog food, tape and staples at Walmart prior to returning to Mexico.

U.S. District Judge Randy Crane accepted the plea and set sentencing for April 14. At that time, he faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine.

He has been and will remain in custody pending that hearing.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney Claire Nguyen is prosecuting the case.

Updated January 31, 2020

Firearms Offenses