The Arizona Republic news release goes on to state “Dozens of AK-47s, and .50 caliber rifles were among the semi-automatic weapons legally purchased in single-day transactions at Arizona gun stores by straw buyers paid by the cartel, said U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke. “This is a huge problem in this state. It is a strange phenomenon,” Burke said at a press conference at a federal office in Phoenix, where guns similar to the types of those seized were laid out side by side on a table. “Drug cartels go shopping for their war weapons here in Arizona.” “This is a huge problem in this state. It is a strange phenomenon,” Burke said at a press conference at a federal office in Phoenix, where guns similar to the types of those seized were laid out side by side on a table. “Drug cartels go shopping for their war weapons here in Arizona.” 
A phenomenon that had been suspected in the past has become a factual event in the eyes of federal lawmen and their task forces. Last June, an ATF task force revealed the discovery of 9 thousand rounds of ammunitions found inside a tire that was intended to make its way inside Mexico. The Alcohol Tobacco Firearms [ATF] task force, stating that the AK 47 is “their weapon of choice” revealed even back then the numerous firearms being traced back to Texas and Arizona. This discovery of the abundance of [semi-automatic] weapons suspected being smuggled into Mexico prompted a federal investigation that culminated into charges against “34 Arizonians accused of buying about 700 guns in gun stores in the state on behalf of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel.” 
This startling indictment of criminal conduct within the state of Arizona is not new as back in August, 2008, a story was told in the Los Angeles Times and written of “weapons smuggled into Mexico fuel drug wars” as leaders of drug cartel were “well armed with U.S. weapons.” The story goes on to highlight the confirmation of this current investigation’s facts that gleaned “High-powered automatic weapons and ammunition are flowing virtually unchecked from border states into Mexico, fueling a war among drug traffickers, the army and police that has left thousands dead, according to U.S. and Mexican officials.
The munitions are hidden under trucks and stashed in the trunks of cars, or brazenly concealed under the clothing of pedestrians who walk across the international bridges. They are showing up in seizures and in the aftermath of shoot-outs between the cartels and police in Mexico. It was reported that more than 90 percent of guns seized at the border or after raids and shootings in Mexico have been traced to the United States, according to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Last year,  2,455 weapons traces requested by Mexico showed that guns had been purchased in the United States, according to ATF. Texas, Arizona and California accounted for 1,803 of the traces submitted by Mexican authorities. Numerous articles have been written about Mexican authorities pressing the United States to do more to help them with the smuggling of guns in this border war as they describe the flooding of these guns as overwhelming and significant in the intimidation of federal police and troops south of the border.