DALLAS – Family and friends of a Dallas truck driver, who is locked up in a Mexican prison, held a rally in Dallas, imploring American officials to help. They still haven’t heard from the imprisoned truck driver in over a week. The rally was held at Victory Plaza in Dallas.
Jabin Bogan apparently was on his way to Phoenix to deliver ammunition, when he made made a wrong turn near El Paso, and traveled into Mexico.
When Mexican authorities saw 268-thousand rounds in Bogan’s truck, Bogan was arrested. Mexican authorities say they are still gathering facts and looking for evidence to confirm his account that he crossed the border by mistake.
Tom Crowley, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, says the cargo intended for an Arizona ammunition shop “appears to be legitimate.” Bogan could face up to 35 years in prison.
It’s getting worse by the day, Demco Express CEO Dennis Mekenye said. It may be a long time before he talks to anyone.
Demco Express truck driver Jabin Bogan, 27, was arrested on the Mexican side of the Bridge of the Americas in Juarez, last Tuesday.
The truck he was driving was carrying nine palates of high-powered rifle ammunition “ a total of 268,000 rounds of ammunition. Mexican officials proclaimed it to be one of the largest ammunition smuggling busts in Juarez history. News media in Mexico followed suit, as did several news outlets in Texas and the United States. It was not until a Dallas, Texas-based news team investigated what Mexican officials coined a smuggling operation, did a new possible explanation emerge “ this may all have been a terrible mistake.
He took a wrong turn, Mekenye said. Why can’t they see that? He didn’t do anything wrong. It was a mistake.
News teams were able to obtain the work orders for the shipment Bogan was transporting from an ammunition factory in Johnson City, Tennessee to United Nations Ammo Company in Phoenix, Arizona.
Mekenye says he was on the phone with Bogan when he says he got turned around in traffic at the Bridge of the Americas. He says Bogan was pushed into a lane heading toward Juarez, and was unable to turn around. As the slow traffic edged closer to the bridge, Mekenye says Bogan told him a cop waved him through, and said he could make a U-turn once he crossed into Mexico. Mekenye says whether that cop was a US official or Mexican official is unclear.
That U-turn never happened. Mexican officials say when Bogan crossed into Juarez, Mexican customs officials searched his cargo, finding what they reported to be ammunition for AK-47 assault rifles.
United Nations Ammo Company owner, Howie Glaser, tells us those reports are incorrect. The rounds contained in his shipment would not work with AK-47s, but are meant for sniper rifles and M14 ceremonial rifles. Possession of guns and ammunition is against the law in Mexico, and getting caught with even one cartridge can land a person in jail. Smuggling weapons or ammunition carries severe penalties.
At the rally, Aletha Smith, Bogan’s mother said, “My son is innocent. My son was doing a legal job, he made a wrong turn. And please let my son please, please please let my son come home.”
Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison told the family she will do what she can to get Bogan released.