U.S. Border Patrol agents seized more than 36,000 rounds of ammunition Monday and nearly $7.6 million worth of marijuana over the weekend, authorities say.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said the ammunition was seized after agents received an anonymous tip concerning suspicious activity in the Rio Grande City area. Agents responded to the tip and began searching near the Rio Grande.
During the search, authorities said agents saw eight people swimming across the river to Mexico. The agents continued to search and found footprints that led them north to a Chevrolet Trailblazer.
Inside the vehicle, agents said they found numerous boxes of 7.62x39-caliber ammunition, the type used in the AK-47 and similar weapons, officials said.
"Such a large quantity of ammunition could have had a devastating impact on communities on both sides of the border and to our agents or other law enforcement officers," said Acting Chief Patrol Agent Raul Ortiz. "The vigilance of these agents potentially saved lives that would have been lost had this ammunition ended up in the hands of violent criminals. Reducing the levels of violence on both sides of the border is an important aspect of the South Texas Campaign and these types of seizures are a good demonstration of CBP's efforts to accomplish those goals."
"Stopping the flow of ammunition and weapons illegally exported into Mexico is an urgent priority for [Homeland Security Investigations]," said Special Agent in Charge Janice Ayala, of HSI San Antonio. "While no arrests were made, our agents will continue to pursue leads and bring those responsible to justice before they fall into the hands of the drug cartels, which pose a threat both here and abroad."
In addition to the ammunition, agents seized nearly $7.5 million worth of marijuana over the weekend, authorities said.
The largest bust occurred at the Falfurrias Checkpoint on U.S. Highway 281 North on Saturday, when agents arrested a man attempting to smuggle more than 3,000 pounds of marijuana through the checkpoint.
Agents found the drugs after a K-9 alert prompted further inspection. Officials said the marijuana was found in a trailer mixed in with a load of charcoal.
Agents at the checkpoint made a similar marijuana seizure of nearly 2,000 pounds on Sunday, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Several additional seizures brought the total amount of marijuana confiscated between Friday and Sunday to nearly 9,500 pounds, authorities said.