Thursday, April 24, 2008

US Soldier charged in Mexico

As I mentioned in a previous post, Mexico doesn't like civilians owning guns. As an update, Spc. Richard Raymond Medina Torres has now been officially charged:

Spc. Richard Raymond Medina Torres was charged by Mexican authorities with smuggling (punishable by five to 30 years in prison); weapons importation (punishable by three to 10 years in prison); and possession of ammunition reserved for the military (punishable by two to six years in prison), said Angel Torres, spokesman for the Mexican Attorney General.

Medina Torres was transferred to the Cereso prison around noon Wednesday.

Torres said Medina Torres' case is now in the hands of a federal judge who has 72 hours to decide whether to free him or sentence him to prison time.

The Mexico Cereso Federal Prison is a dangerous place well known to have rival gangs, drug trafficking, and hidden weapons (see here & here). All he wanted to do was park in the US & walk over to Mexico to have some breakfast, but ended up in the wrong lane:

Medina Torres has said he was trying to park in the United States and walk into Mexico to eat breakfast when he got lost and found himself at the Bridge of the Americas checkpoint on the Mexican side.

Mexican federal police stopped Medina Torres as he was trying to make a U-turn to re-enter the United States and asked him whether he was carrying weapons. The soldier said he turned over his semiautomatic AR-15 rifle, a .45-caliber handgun, ammunition for both weapons and some knives.


Tom Crowley, a spokesman with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Dallas division, said agents were able to speak with Medina Torres and photograph the weapons.

"We traced the firearms, and there's no indication of fire arms trafficking," Crowley said.

The weapons were purchased by Medina Torres years ago, and no evidence of recent multiple weapons purchases was found, Crowley said.

More here. Also see video.

Update 1: To read updates on this visit the site.

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