Mexican drug cartels smuggling guns from U.S. across the border


By Jacques Billeaud
Associated Press

PHOENIX — As police approached a drug cartel's safe house in northwestern Mexico last May, gunmen inside poured on fire with powerful assault rifles and grenades, killing seven officers whose weapons were no match.

Four more lawmen were wounded in the bloodbath and a cache of weapons was seized, including a single AK-47 assault rifle that authorities say was purchased 800 miles away at a Phoenix gun shop and smuggled into Mexico.

The rifle's presence in Mexico underscores two realities in the government's war against drug traffickers: Nearly all the guns the cartels use are smuggled into Mexico from the U.S., and officials say a small number of corrupt American weapons dealers are making the gun running possible.

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