Thad Bingel, a former chief of staff at Customs and Border Protection agrees, saying it is not uncommon for Mexican soldiers to get lost along the border. They are typically met by the U.S. Border Patrol, questioned and sent on their way.
"We had several incidents where Mexican military or federal police or local police inadvertently crossed the border, armed, on the U.S. side and were apprehended by us," said Bingel. "We were able to usually dispense with those cases pretty quickly and get them back home once we established the intent wasn't there to do anything nefarious. I really can't explain why it has taken the Mexican government this long.
If they're trying to make a point about broader issues of arms smuggling southbound, I think they've picked really the wrong case to do that with."
Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman Angelica De Cima said it is not uncommon for travelers to miss the U-turn lane, but her agency does not keep statistics.
"He's not trying to smuggle arms southbound," said Bingel. "He made a wrong turn. He had weapons in the car. He was arrested for that. But he's certainly been held long enough to determine his intent and to send him home to his family."