Lawyer Helping Wrong-Way Ammo Driver Detained In Mexico
May 03, 2012

Photo by Mónica Ortiz Uribe
From left, Kevin Huckabee, who for two years fought for the release of his American son from a Mexican prison; Althea Smith, mother of Jabin Bogan the American trucker detained in Mexico; and Carlos Spector, attorney for Bogan's family, at a press conference held at Spector's office.
Photo by Mónica Ortiz Uribe
The Bridge of the Americas from the El Paso, Texas side. This is the bridge American truck driver Jabin Bogan mistakenly drove across with a load of ammunition.

EL PASO, Texas -- An attorney in El Paso is assisting the family of an American truck driver detained in Mexico.

Carlos Spector has made a name for himself representing Mexicans fleeing the country's brutal drug war to seek asylum in the United States. Now he is helping the family of Jabin Akeem Bogan, who is charged with smuggling ammunition into Mexico.

Spector says Bogan ended up in Mexico by mistake. Bogan is a driver for a trucking company based in Arlington, Texas. On April 17 he was making deliveries in El Paso when he claims to have made a wrong turn off the highway and eventually found himself at the international bridge.

In phone calls with his boss and later with Spector, Bogan says a "cop in a blue uniform" directed him to cross into Mexico and turn around. It's still unclear who he spoke to.

Once at the Mexican inspection station, Bogan was arrested after customs agents found more than 200,000 rounds of ammunition he was carrying.

Spector says the load was legitimate cargo meant for a Phoenix company.

"The evidence we have is the bills of sale," Spector said. "There's also a legal purchase between two gun dealers in the U.S. with a pick up point and a destination."

Spector is working with Mexican authorities to appeal the charges against Bogan, who currently sits in a jail in the gulf state of Veracruz.

Bogan's mother, Althea Smith, traveled to El Paso from Dallas along with Bogan's employer. Her son is 27 years old and has two children.

"My son made a wrong turn somewhere down the road," she said. "And now his life has been disrupted and turned upside down for no reason."

Photo by Mónica Ortiz Uribe
Warning signs like this one are posted along the multiple entrances to the international bridge to Mexico.

There are multiple traffic signs near the international bridge warning drivers that it's illegal to carry firearms and ammunition into Mexico. Roger Maier is a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

"The vast majority of the truck traffic that crosses everyday are regular routine border crossers, so not very often do we get a truck driver going the wrong way," Maier said. "If we do we would have to stop traffic and help that driver turn the vehicle around and head back north … we would never direct anyone into Mexico if they had no intention of going into Mexico."

Maier said no customs agents came into contact with Bogan, but the agency is looking further into the case.