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Smuggler who stashed ammunition in dog food pleads guilty

5 months 6 days 10 hours ago Saturday, February 01 2020 Feb 1, 2020 February 01, 2020 8:34 AM February 01, 2020 in News

McALLEN — A man who attempted to cross the Texas-Tamaulipas border with 4,000 rounds of ammunition hidden in boxes of dog food pleaded guilty to smuggling on Friday.

Esteban Ramirez-Torres, a Mexican citizen, pleaded guilty to smuggling goods from the United States.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection stopped Ramirez-Torres at the Hidalgo-Reynosa bridge on Nov. 15, 2019, according to court records. Officers thought Ramirez-Torres appeared nervous and sent him to secondary inspection.

During a search of Ramirez-Torres's car, officers found ammunition hidden in a box of dog biscuits and a bag of dog food. They also found ammunition hidden in the seats and "30 AK 47 style magazines" in the trunk, according to court records.

Officers contacted Homeland Security Investigations, a division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, to question Ramirez-Torres.

Asked about the dog food, Ramirez-Torres said he didn't buy it, according to court records. Homeland Security Investigations, however, found a receipt for the dog food in his wallet.

Ramirez-Torres is scheduled for sentencing on April 14. He faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison.

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