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US trucker nabbed with ammo in Mexico is freed

Associated Press Modified: November 23, 2012 at 10:01 pm •  Published: November 23, 2012

During his trial, Mexican customs agents contradicted prosecutors' claim that Bogan had 268,000 bullets hidden under the floorboards of his 18-wheeler's trailer when he was arrested. Agents testified in June that Bogan was trying to make a U-turn back into the U.S. when they found the ammunition bundled on top of wooden pallets inside the trailer.

Bogan was arrested less than 100 feet from a giant billboard that reads, "no more weapons." The sign, unveiled by Mexican President Felipe Calderon two months before Bogan was caught, was made out of seized high-caliber rifles and ammunition.

Calderon has blamed lax U.S. gun laws for the flow of weapons into Mexico.

An appeal filed in August by Bogan's lawyer in Mexico, Emilio de la Rosa, reduced the charge from smuggling to possession of military ammunition. That allowed Bogan to be released after serving a portion of his sentence and paying a fine. He also was sentenced to supervised release, which he can do by mail.

The ammunition belonged to United Nations Ammunition. De la Rosa said the bullets would not be returned to the company.

A spokesman with the Mexican Attorney General did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

Bogan's attorney, Carlos Spector, maintains that Bogan made an honest mistake. But he said his lawyers decided not to fight the case, in part because of the potential political implications.

"He (De la Rosa) knew the options were get him out in six or seven months or sink him with a 30-year-sentence. Asking for a not-guilty sentence was impossible because the Mexican government had to get something out of this," Spector said.