Lawyer: U.S. trucker wasn't smuggling arms to Mexico
Attorney Emilio de La Rosa, left, and forensics expert Mario Gomez, right, talk to a customs and court officials at the Las Americas Bridge in Juarez, Mexico on Thursday, July 5, 2012 while doing a walk-through reconstruction of the events that lead to the arrest of trucker Jabin Bogan. Bogan was taken into custody April 17, 2012 with 268,000 bullets in Mexico and is charged with smuggling military ammunition. (Associated Press: JUAN CARLOS LLORCA)
By JUAN CARLOS LLORCA
The Associated Press
EL PASO, Texas — An attorney for a Texas trucker whose rig was filled with ammunition when he crossed the Mexican border said a re-enactment conducted Thursday confirms that his client simply made a wrong turn and wasn't trying to smuggle thousands of bullets into Mexico.
A Mexican court allowed local prosecutors and Jabin Bogan's lawyer to gather with experts at the border-crossing bridge in Ciudad Juarez where Bogan tried to make a U-turn. Bogan has been in a Mexican prison since the April 17 incident, when Mexican custom officials found 268,000 bullets in his truck.
Forensic expert Mario Gomez showed how the 27-year-old trucker blocked traffic while trying to make what he called an "impossible" U-turn back into the United States. Gomez also showed photographs that he said showed the cargo wasn't hidden, as prosecutors allege.
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"This is very good for us," said Bogan's Mexican defense lawyer, Emilio de la Rosa.
Bogan claimed that his GPS malfunctioned, causing him to take a wrong turn. Mexican customs officials have testified that Bogan was trying to turn around and, when asked, showed paperwork indicating the ammunition was destined for a wholesaler in Arizona.
Prosecutors allege Bogan concealed the cargo and charged him with smuggling military ammunition.
De la Rosa said he is trying to get the charges reduced from the smuggling charge, which carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, to possession, an offense punishable by no more than six years in prison.
The trucking company that Bogan worked for at the time, Demco Express, was shut down by the Department of Transportation on May 25 for repeated and blatant violations of the Federal Motors Carrier Safety Regulations regarding unsafe and fatigued driving, vehicle maintenance and drug and alcohol testing of the drivers.
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