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March 10, 2023Nogales, AZ, United StatesFirearms, Ammunition and Explosives

Arizona man sentenced for attempted ammunition trafficking after HSI Nogales investigation

TUCSON, Ariz. — A federal judge sentenced an Arizona man March 6 to 24 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for attempting to smuggle ammunition to Mexico. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Nogales investigated the case.

“There is no greater threat to our community than thousands of rounds of ammunition falling in the wrong hands,” said HSI Arizona Special Agent in Charge Scott Brown. “Given the public safety risks, targeting those involved in circumventing our nations firearms and ammunition laws remains a top priority for HSI.”

Victor Acosta, 47, of Tucson, further pleaded guilty to one count of smuggling goods from the United States.

On March 23, 2022, Acosta attempted to exit the United States and enter Mexico at the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales. During a search of his vehicle, Customs and Border Protection officers found 19,000 rounds of 7.62x39mm ammunition and 3,000 rounds of .223 caliber ammunition. Acosta admitted that he had the ammunition in his vehicle.

Assistant United States Attorney Brandon M. Bolling, District of Arizona, Tucson, prosecuted the case.

HSI Arizona continues to address the serious public safety threat posed by smuggling organizations and their reckless disregard for our nation’s laws. To report suspicious smuggling activity, call 866-348-2423.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.