Seized Cartel Bound Equipment Now Utilized By SJPD


POSTED: Thursday, July 14, 2011 - 4:59pm

UPDATED: Friday, July 15, 2011 - 8:13am

SAN JUAN- Combat equipment heading to fuel the drug war in Mexico now belongs to one Upper Valley law enforcement agency. 

Fifty pairs of boots handed out and 60 ballistic helmets will now Armour San Juan police officers as they continue to fight crime. The items you see here were part of a seizure conducted by police  along with ICE that happened back in January 16th of this year during a traffic stop.

Police say the helmets, boots, weapons, ammo and magazines were about to cross into Mexico and to be used by the drug cartels. Police Chief Juan Gonzalez says the cartels are purchasing more of these types of equipment because they know its good equipment and used by U.S. police officers.

"So it's always good for us to make this kind of seizures because then we can avoid from people getting trained and people utilizing these type of equipment to hurt law enforcement officers in Mexico and in the united states," said Gonzalez.

Several individuals were arrested in this case. The chief says after the case was closed in the spring months they were awarded the equipment under the forfeiture laws. Other Upper Valley law enforcement agencies are also getting a piece of the pie.

"We're issuing out to Edinburgh, to Weslaco , Palmview and Jim Hogg county, and donna pd also. for their tactical units or a teams. it's the ballistic helmets that they can use at anytime," said Gonzalez.

The chief says these boots will provide more protection and flexibility for the officers while they're on duty. He added that his goal is to find ways to give officers the tactical edge over the criminals through grants, seized equipment or skills.

The total value of this equipment is more than five thousand dollars and the good thing is it didn't have to come out of tax payer's pockets

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