The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) unit in Louisville made an alarming find in a shipment that originated from China. The CBP's Express Consignment Operations hubs in the city seized a smuggling consignment from China containing more than 10,800 assault weapon parts.
According to the CBP, the shipment, which was seized on May 22, arrived from Shenzhen, China and was destined for a home in Melbourne, Florida. The shipment of parts has an estimated value of $129,600.
The consignment's package slip falsely stated that it contained "100 Steel Pin Samples" - a common tactic used by smugglers to sneak in contraband by labeling it as a harmless or legal commodity in an attempt to elude further examination.
"The importing of any type of munitions is regulated by the ATF," said Thomas Mahn, Port Director, Louisville. "This smuggler was knowingly trying to avoid detection, however, our officers remain vigilant, ensuring our community is safe."
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is a federal law enforcement organization that regulates and restricts guns and ammunition in the United States and the import of guns or ammunition can only be done by authorized importers, dealers or manufacturers.
FBI Investigating Foreign Involvement in Protests
The weapons shipment from Chinese smugglers has been caught at a time when protests and violence have erupted across the country against police brutality. Thousands of disgruntled Americans have taken to the streets in recent weeks following the deaths of George Floyd and other African Americans at the hands of the U.S. police.
Last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed that the bureau is actively looking into the possibility of foreign influence or interference in protests in the United States, as previously reported by IBT.
"We have certainly seen in the past a variety of foreign adversaries looking to amplify controversy in this country," Wray said in an interview on Fox. "And they use state media. They use social media. Some of that is through propaganda, some of that's through disinformation, some of that's through just fake information."
"And we are looking carefully at the prospect of foreign influence or foreign interference in all the protest activities (that's) occurred over the last few weeks," he said, before noting that the FBI has over 2,000 active investigations that trace back to the Chinese government.