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Jim Wells County deputy finds 14 high-powered rifles during traffic stop

Posted at 11:50 AM, Apr 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-01 18:54:32-04

Two Rio Grande Valley men have been arrested after they were caught with 14 high caliber weapons in Jim Wells County.

According to Jim Wells County Sheriff’s Office, on Friday around 9:59 p.m., the driver, Jodie Rocha, was traveling on Texas Highway 359 near Orange Grove with his wife, his 5-year-old child and his cousin, Epigmenio Palomo.

The deputy stopped Rocha for a traffic violation. While the officer was conducting the stop, the deputy noticed that the driver appeared very nervous. The officer asked for consent to search the vehicles.

Epigmenio Palomo was arrested by a Jim Wells Sheriff’s Department deputy on Friday. (Jim Wells County Sheriff’s Department courtesy photo)

According to a Jim Wells County Sheriff’s Department’s Facebook post, Rocha stated he had small amounts of marijuana in the vehicle.

Jodie Rocha was arrested by the Jim Wells County Sheriff’s Department on Friday. (Jim Wells County Sheriff’s Department courtesy photo)

At that time, the deputy began searching the vehicle. Rocha stated he was with wife and his cousin. Palomo had an outstanding parole warrant and both he and Rocha were convicted felons.

During the search of the vehicle, 14 high-caliber M-4 and AK47 style weapons were located along with ammunition and magazines. The calibers ranged from .556 to 7.62 to .338 Lapua Magnum.

Palomo and Rocha were taken into custody and the vehicle was impounded. The female and child were released.

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives were contacted and both men were taken into federal custody.