Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Mexican federal prosecutors said Wednesday they have charged a flamboyant former Tijuana mayor with illegal weapons possession.
Jorge Hank Rhon was transferred from detention in Mexico City to a prison in the border city of Tecate, Deputy Attorney General Patricia Bugarin said at a news conference.
Hank Rhon was arrested Saturday when troops found 40 rifles, 48 handguns, 9,298 bullets, 70 ammunition clips and a gas grenade at his Tijuana home near one of the casinos he owns.
Ten of the weapons had licenses but none were registered to Hank Rhon, Bugarin said.
Five were registered to public safety groups or police in Baja California state and Mexico City. Another five were registered to people who weren't among 10 others arrested and charged along with Hank Rhon, she said.
The other 78 weapons didn't have a license, Bugarin said.
Mexican law limits ownership of powerful firearms to the military and requires licensing of most other guns. Violations can be punished by as long as 30 years in prison.
Hank Rhon said in a letter published Monday that the guns weren't his and he had never seen them before.
Hank Rhon was mayor of Tijuana from 2004 to 2007, but lost in a run for Baja California state governor that year. He is a self-proclaimed billionaire who operates a dog track and a nationwide chain of off-track betting parlors.