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U.S. Border Patrol authorities on Wednesday discovered backpacks with ammunition and a homemade explosive along the Rio Grande Valley sector, where authorities have previously admitted Mexican cartels maintain control of the region.
“An example of the tactics & weapons that criminals employ against our Agents,” Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez said in an X post.
Chavez, who leads all enforcement operations along 264 border miles between West Texas and southern New Mexico, said authorities averted the “dangerous situation” and shared images and video of the ammo and explosive device.
According to Chavez, the McAllen Police Department helped detonate the homemade explosive device after border patrol agents patrolling around Fronton, Texas, discovered the bullets and bomb.
Thanks to McAllen PD for assisting in safely detonating this homemade explosive!💚🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/XknOkLiX8m
— Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez (@USBPChiefRGV) September 6, 2023
Explosive devices have been previously located or intercepted by border patrol agents.
According to News Nation, authorities in Arizona intercepted an Improvised Explosive Device from a vehicle on May 6 at a port of entry in Douglas.
The Department of Homeland Security reportedly says such devices come in many forms, “ranging from a small pipe bomb to a sophisticated device capable of causing massive damage and loss of life.”
Authorities said the device was made using a miniature M&M container and black electrical tape.
“A complete search of the vehicle was conducted after the (Arizona Department of Public Safety) had removed the destructive device with no additional items located,” authorities reportedly said.
U.S. Border Patrol chief Raul Ortiz testified before House Homeland Security Committee lawmakers earlier this year, where he reportedly admitted Mexican cartels smuggle drugs and immigrants along the Southwest border, indicating the agency lost operational control.
“We have had ground-breaking testimony by Chief Ortiz. He said we do not have operational control of the Southwest border,” U.S. Rep. August Pfluger, a Republican from San Angelo, Texas, said, according to Border Report. “And how sad it is our colleagues from the other side of the aisle are not here in McAllen, in the Rio Grande Valley, to hear this?”
Lawmakers reportedly said they were told by law enforcement that another “explosive device” was found near the region.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) asked Ortiz if he was aware of the device allegedly found along the Rio Grande Valley border, but the border chief reportedly said he could not openly discuss such information.
After the hearing, Ortiz said on social media that the “explosive device” did not pose a threat.
“It was alleged that Agents found an explosive device near the border. During a Jan. briefing, leadership was notified that Agents found a duct-taped ball filled with sand that wasn’t deemed a threat to agents/public,” Ortiz said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Today, I testified before the Committee on Homeland Security & it was alleged that Agents found an explosive device near the border. During a Jan. briefing, leadership was notified that Agents found a duct-taped ball filled with sand that wasn't deemed a threat to agents/public. pic.twitter.com/SXV9qK8uo1
— Chief Jason Owens (@USBPChief) March 15, 2023