A man who hid 4,000 rounds of ammunition inside boxes of dog biscuits and bags of dog food admitted in federal court Friday to his failed smuggling attempt.
Esteban Ramirez-Torres, 25, entered a guilty plea to attempting to illegally export ammunition into Mexico, United States Attorney Ryan K. Patrick announced in a press release.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered the man on Nov. 15, 2019, as he tried to enter Mexico 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,” the press release states.
Authorities discovered 4,000 rounds of 7.62x39mm caliber ammunition hidden within the dog food and boxes of biscuits, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.
CBP also discovered ammunition hidden inside the back seat of the vehicle and 30 AK-47 style magazines hidden inside a side wall of the trunk, according to the criminal complaint.
“Ramirez-Torres admitted he knowingly smuggled the ammunition illegally into Mexico,” the press release states. “He also acknowledged purchasing the dog food, tape and staples at Walmart prior to returning to Mexico.”
However, he initially told authorities that he was just heading home to Reynosa after shopping at Walmart.
After his arrest, Ramirez-Torres claimed he thought he was smuggling cellphones.
He is scheduled for sentencing on April 14 where he faces up to a decade in prison and a possible $250,000 fine.