Officials: California an ‘Ammo Pipeline’ to Mexican Drug Cartels

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The amount of ammunition that Mexican police have seized in Tijuana has more than doubled since 2008, an official testified during a California Senate hearing.

The Los Angeles hearing was meant to address firearms trafficking between California and Mexico.

According to the city’s police liaison with Tijuana, Alejandro Lares Valladares, Tijuana is now seizing significantly larger shipments of smuggled ammo. Authorities have seized over 11,000 bullets so far this year, compared with just 4,312 in 2008. Lares did not specify how much of this ammo has been successfully traced to the U.S.

The amount of bullets seized in Tijuana suggests police may have improved their ability to track arms shipments. But it also indicates that alongside other southwest states, California may be becoming an increasingly important source of ammunition for Mexican gangs.

In Arizona, authorities have reportedly seized over 95,000 rounds of ammo so far this year along the state’s border, a 125 percent increase from 2007.

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