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25 assault rifles seized after allegedly being trafficked into California from Arizona

CBS News Live
CBS News Los Angeles Live

Coachella Valley investigators seized 25 assault rifles and two handguns allegedly being trafficked into California from Arizona by a man who had his 17-year-old brother with him, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said Thursday.

Law enforcement officials in Riverside County seized this cache of more than two dozen firearms including assault rifles after two brothers allegedly tried trafficking the guns into California from Arizona. 

U.S. Border Patrol agents at the California-Arizona border came across the brothers driving a Honda CRV, which was carrying the more than two dozen firearms allegedly picked up in Phoenix, Arizona, according to sheriff's officials. The cache of rifles and magazines was hidden inside the back of the vehicle, officials said.

Jose Palma Almendarez, a 25-year-old man from Calexico, was arrested on suspicion of several weapon-related charges and booked into Blythe Jail after Coachella Valley gang unit investigators responded to the scene. 

Law enforcement officials released his 17-year-old brother to his parents.

Anyone with information is urged to call Gang Task Force Member Investigator Henson at 760-836–1600. 

Any non-emergency information and tips regarding gang activity can be submitted through the Gang Task Force Tip Form or by calling 951–922–7601. Anonymous tips can be provided by calling Coachella Valley Crimestoppers at 760-341–7867.  

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