EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A Dallas trucker imprisoned for seven months in Mexico on accusations that he tried to smuggle assault rifle ammunition into the country broke down in tears Friday when he returned to the U.S., saying he had at times given up hope.
Jabin Bogan maintains he was on his way to Phoenix to deliver the ammunition in April when he took a wrong highway exit and accidentally crossed the border into Mexico. Despite his insistence it was an honest mistake, the 27-year-old was arrested and taken to a Mexican maximum security prison.
"Some days I gave up hope. Some days I felt like God was, to be honest in my heart, like God was laughing. Like he was just punishing me for no reason. I felt like just giving up," he said during a brief news conference in El Paso shortly after arriving back in the U.S.
Bogan tearfully thanked his supporters, and said that at times he felt like taking his own life or someone else's.
"I was the only black American person in the whole prison. God brought me through and I made it," he said.
Bogan was released from the Mexican prison last week but had been detained by immigration authorities until Friday. He was found guilty of possession of military ammunition and sentenced to three years, but the ruling was later commuted for time served and a fine.
He was arrested on April 17 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, just across the border from El Paso. Bogan said he was headed to Phoenix when he got lost, and he told Mexican authorities that a law enforcement officer at the border had told him to continue driving across the international bridge.
Bogan said he attempted to turn back when he realized he had crossed into Mexico, but the layout of the traffic lanes prevented him from returning without first crossing into the truck inspection area in Juarez, where his truck was searched.
He said Friday that when he acknowledged to the agents he had ammunition, "they said, 'in this side of the country it's illegal to have bullets.' And that's when everything went upside down they took me in and never let me out."