Originally Published: March 15, 2018 6 a.m.
Authorities have arrested a Nevada man who was found with five AK-47 assault rifles in his rented vehicle.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper reported discovering the weapons after stopping a sedan for a traffic violation on Interstate 10 near Marana.
DPS officials say Jorge Eduardo Pantoja-Aldaz, 24, of Nevada, also had a small amount of cocaine in his wallet.
He was arrested for trafficking of weapons. The rifles were seized and the case turned over to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“Evidence and other factors are indicating that the weapons were purchased with the intent of the purchaser to deliver to another person,” according to DPS Trooper Kameron Lee. “The investigations also indicate the weapons were intended to be sent into the Republic of Mexico.”
It is “illegal is to purchase a firearm for another — also called a ‘straw purchase’ — or to import weapons purchased here in the United States and send them or transport them to the Republic of Mexico or any other foreign nation,” he added.
Lee added that, while he was not able to discuss the drug charge due to the ongoing investigation, it is a violation of federal law for a drug abuser to possess or purchase a firearm.
The trooper who made the traffic stop was participating in a Department of Homeland Security program that provides grants to other law enforcement agencies to enhance and strengthen border security.