Tuesday, May 21, 2013
The Associated Press
EL PASO, Texas - A Dallas trucker imprisoned for seven months in Mexico on accusations that he tried to smuggle assault rifle ammunition into the country broke down in tears Friday when he returned to the U.S., saying he had at times given up hope.
Jabin Bogan maintains he was on his way to Phoenix to deliver the ammunition in April when he took a wrong highway exit and accidentally crossed the border into Mexico. Despite insisting it was an honest mistake, the 27-year-old was arrested and taken to a Mexican maximum security prison.
"Some days I gave up hope. Some days I felt like God was, to be honest in my heart, like God was laughing. Like he was just punishing me for no reason. I felt like just giving up," he said during a brief news conference in El Paso shortly after arriving back in the U.S.
Bogan was released last week but was detained until Friday. He was found guilty of possession of military ammunition and sentenced to three years, but that was later commuted for time served and a fine.
He was arrested on April 17 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, just across the border from El Paso. Bogan said he was headed to Phoenix when he got lost, and he told Mexican authorities that a law enforcement officer at the border had told him to continue driving across the international bridge.
Bogan said he tried to turn back, but could not return without first crossing into the truck inspection area in Juarez, where his truck was searched.
Mexican customs agents contradicted prosecutors' claim that Bogan had 268,000 bullets hidden under the floorboards of his trailer when arrested. Agents testified in June that Bogan was trying to make a U-turn back into the U.S. when they found the ammunition.