Assault rifles, ammo seized at border

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SAN DIEGO — A 52-year-old man was in custody Thursday accused of trying to smuggle assault rifle parts and 64 boxes of ammunition into Mexico from San Diego, border officials said.

The smuggling attempt occurred at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry Tuesday afternoon, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

About 2:40 p.m., the man drove a 2011 Toyota Sienna into the port’s southbound inspection lanes and officers who searched the minivan found the contraband hidden in the vehicle’s quarter panels, under its seats and in the battery compartment of a motorized wheelchair that was in the minivan, a CBP statement said.

In total, officers said they seized 17 high-powered rifle parts and seven high-capacity magazines, along with 2,360 rounds of ammunition.

The man, a Mexican citizen but a legal U.S. resident, was booked into the Metropolitan Correction Center in San Diego and the case was turned over to the Department of Homeland Security for further investigation, according to the CBP.

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