Yesterday, May 10, Allen and Donna Smith of the Truth About Trucking advocacy organization and AsktheTrucker.com hosted a who’s who of folks involved in the case of Demco Transportation driver Jabin Bogan, who is still being held by Mexican authorities after inadvertently proceeding to the border at El Paso/Juarez while toting a load of military-grade ammunition (bill of lading pictured). Their latest edition of the Truth About Trucking Live online radio program can be heard in its entirety in an archived edition via this page.
It’s well worth the listen.
Bogan has been indicted, said his El Paso-based attorney, Carlos Spector, under the Mexican federal firearms law, which charges “that he attempted to clandestinely introduce firearms used exclusively by the Mexican military” into the country.
Spector, appearing on the program along with Dennis Mckenye, head of Demco Transportation, noted his defense of Bogan has been to show that, clearly, there was nothing clandestine about the alleged attempt to introduce the ammunition into the country. “Why would a 26-27-year-old African-American roll up with that amount of ammunition [in broad daylight] and think he could sneak it in – it’s obviously an honest screw-up.”
Mckenye testified to the lack of any history out of the ordinary with Bogan, who’s been under Demco’s employ for three and a half years.
“He’s a dependable driver,” said Mckenye. “It was an honest mistake which landed him where he is right now.”
El Paso, where Bogan delivered a partial load prior to his wrong turn across the border, is not a regular destination for him, said Mckenye. In his time driving for Demco, he’s been to the city fewer than five times.
Also joining the discussion on the program was United Nations Ammunition‘s Howie Glazer, the Phoenix-based surplus ammo retailer that was the intended receiver of the load. Glazer took pains to address what he sees as the Mexican government’s fabrication of details about the load Bogan was hauling. Authorities have characterized it publicly as ammunition appropriate for the drug cartel weapon of choice, the AK-47. Not so, said Glazer.
Spector noted the absence of the details of exactly what kind of ammunition was being hauled on the bill of lading — “it said only ‘ammo,'” he noted — appears to have given Mexican authorities an opening to label Bogan a player serving the cartels, throwing the young man then publicly into the current discord in U.S.-Mexican international relations. “This is on the heels on the ATF’s ‘Fast and Furious,'” he said, the discontinued, controversial effort to track the flow of arms into the Mexican state. “And now you have the Jabin Bogan fiasco.”
Viewed in a broader context, the Mexican government blaims the U.S. appetite for drugs and the flow of arms south for the violence in the country. “We say it’s Mexican corruption and inefficiency,” added Spector.
Just terrible to have your son played as a chip in a diplomatic fight, finally: Aletha Smith, Bogan’s mother, with whom I spoke last week hours after she’d had the first and still only opportunity to speak to her son, continued to express her and her family’s resolve to see their son, father, brother released.
“I returned back to work Monday,” she said, feeling like she needed something else to occupy her thoughts, though she remains preoccupied with her son’s case. “My focus is still on getting Jabin home.” She’s explained to Bogan’s six-year-old son, finally, why his daddy still isn’t home. “It’s been very hard. [Bogan] has a sister who has been very supportive. She’s trying to meet with congressmen and talk to Carlos and do things that I can’t do,” now that she’s back working.
You can find more information about Jabin’s case on the freejabin.com website I wrote about last week. Listen the Truth About Trucking Live program in its archived entirety via this page.
And, finally, this report from last week details U.S. government efforts around the case.