Monday, October 24, 2011

Cornyn Urging Wider Probe of ‘Fast and Furious’

‘Spillover effects’ in Texas cited

By Jerry Seper
The Washington Times
Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Darrell E. Issa on Monday to expand their formal “Fast and Furious” investigation to include accusations that similar gunrunning probes took place in Texas.

Mr. Cornyn said he asked U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in August to address the “scope and details of any past or present ATF gun-walking programs” in his home state, but never got a response.

“Though their failure to respond is not direct evidence of malfeasance, the department’s reluctance to address allegations of additional ‘gun-walking’ schemes in my state raises serious questions, and Texans deserve a full accounting of the department’s role in this matter,” he wrote.

Mr. Cornyn, a former Texas attorney general, said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) “gun-walking” schemes have had significant “spillover effects” in Texas. In two separate incidents in January and April 2010, 60 rifles that were “walked” during the Fast and Furious operation were recovered from criminals in El Paso, Texas.

He said the attorney for a federal firearms licensee (FFL) in Houston has charged that his employees were ordered by ATF to conduct suspicious sales of firearms to purchasers who may have been working on behalf of Mexican drug cartels.

Last December, he said, the Justice Department convened a grand jury to investigate whether several salespersons at the Houston gun dealers were criminally liable for selling weapons to straw purchasers. The investigation, he said, was dropped only after the licensed firearms dealers revealed that the illicit sales were carried out at the behest of the ATF.

“I fear that ATF may have pressured other FFLs in Texas to conduct illegal activities, and that many of these weapons may have ended up in the hands of cartels and at the scene of multiple violent crimes in Mexico,” Mr. Cornyn said.

He also asked that the investigation include a look into whether a Texas-based “gun-walking” program was responsible for the slaying of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent Jaime Zapata on Feb. 15, 2011, in Mexico. One of the weapons used to kill Zapata was purchased by Texas resident Otilio Osorio in October 2010 and, according to Mr. Cornyn, later trafficked to Mexico through Laredo, Texas.

Zapata was fatally shot, and his partner, Victor Avila, was wounded twice in the leg in the ambush on a major highway near the city of San Luis Potosi, about 250 miles north of Mexico City. The men, assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, were returning to their office after a meeting with other U.S. personnel in San Luis Potosi.

Neither man was armed, as Mexico does not allow U.S. law enforcement personnel to carry weapons in the country.

Mr. Osorio, 22, and his brother, Ranferi, 27, were arrested at their home on charges of possessing firearms with an obliterated serial number. Kelvin Leon Morrison, 25, also was arrested and charged in a separate complaint with making false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms and dealing in firearms without a license. He lives next door to the Osorios.

According to court documents, a confidential ATF informant arranged a meeting in early November with people who had firearms to be transported from Dallas to Laredo. The meeting was arranged as part of an investigation of Los Zetas, a violent and ruthless Mexican drug-trafficking gang.

Mr. Cornyn said evidence uncovered by Mr. Grassley, Iowa Republican, suggests that the ATF was aware of Mr. Osorio’s weapons-trafficking activities “long before that date.”

“The delay in his arrest raises concerns that the ATF knowingly allowed Osorio to continue trafficking weapons through Texas as part of a broader ‘gun-walking’ program,” he said, adding in his letter that he supported efforts by the two lawmakers “to hold the Department of Justice accountable for their involvement in the Operation Fast and Furious tragedy.”

“American tax dollars should never again be spent to arm Mexican drug cartels,” he said.

In the Arizona-based Fast and Furious operation, 20 “straw buyers” purchased more than 2,000 weapons between September 2009 and December 2010, many of which were walked into Mexico and turned over the Mexican drug smugglers. The weapons included AK-47 assault weapons, Barrett .50-caliber sniper rifles, FN 5.7mm semi automatic pistols and other assorted rifles, shotguns and handguns - many of which remain unaccounted for.

The straw buyers paid as much as $900,000 for the weapons, with much of the illicit cash being furnished by the drug cartels.

15 comments:

  1. So the ATF forces legitimate gun dealers to sell to the Cartels and then tries to bust them for it. That would make the ATF just as bad. Some of the gun shops had it on video which saved them apparently.

    Why does this administration and Liberals hate our constitution and rights to self defense so much that they will do anything, even potentially commit crime, in order to infringe upon our rights?

    Anyone in government who thought that actively arming psychotic Cartels in any way, shape or form whatsoever - and actually letting them walk away with the guns, was even remotely a "good idea" is just too stupid to be in government.

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  2. Cornyn trying to work his bullshit politics with the justice department?!? Go back to that fucken rock you crawled out from under and find something productive to do.

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  3. Someone explain this to me... is he saying the ATF was actively investigating 'ma & pa' gun shops to see if they were illegally selling guns to straw purchasers... But at the exact same time the ATF was directing these same people to let guns walk and that they only dropped the investigation against them when they let the cat out of the bag as to what the ATF was really up to?

    If I have this scenario right can someone tell me why the ATF would even think to investigate and prosecute the very same gun dealers they were instructing to let guns walk?

    That makes no sense to me.

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  4. 12:39 - no genius, what happened was the justice dept probably had the FBI or some other branch investigate it, I think the general opinion in the US govt is that the ATF are rather incompetent and left to their own little sandbox. Obviously nobody talks to each other so it was a perfect storm.

    And to think that "this administration" would hatch something like this to attack the 2 amendment shows your intelligence in one sentence. I can assure you this plot was hatch by some right wing rep. heading some ATF office somewhere watching the Lone Ranger. The second amendment is great and I know people kill people but GUNS kill people WAY quicker so I'm for gun control and programs to buy back guns. Think of a world with half the amount of guns in it. Basically people need to stop being such pussys and fight it out like men...

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  5. This is clearly a political move by cornyn.Why instead of wasting resources on investigations that aren't gonna lead us any where don't they try to find a way for criminals not to acquire guns or ammo

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  6. Life in prison for all these ATF agents and DoJ emplyees that are accomplices to murder. Only that will stop their life of crime.

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  7. Investigations will lead somewhere . Perhaps not where we would all like them to . But htey will go somewhere .

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  8. cut out the corruption in the USA. seems some of these guys is as bad as the mexican drug cartels.

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  9. 8:18, your a fucking idiot. This abortion of an idea (even if it was hatched by a 'lone ranger' republican) was known by everyone all the way up to Holder. And Mexico is a perfect example of what gun laws do to law abiding people. Buy back guns? Are you a fucking retard? In a perfect world, people would fight with fists and no one would hurt anyone...yada yada yada. We live in a non-perfect world. A world full of assholes from the Middle East who would kill you just because your and American (or non-Muslim). We live in a world where there are guns everywhere, and they are never going away. EVER. So stop with the "real men fight it out with fists" bullshit, and live in the reality that bad guys will have guns and USE THEM. But those in Mexico who obey the laws are powerless if someone kicks in their door to kidnap their son or daughter. They can't do anything to protect what they have worked so hard for. BAD GUYS HAVE GUNS. They don't obey the law and have the clip and bullets in the trunk while the gun in up front of the car (Cali's stupid law), or worry if it is hidden under the seat with a round in the chamber. But we worry about it.

    Case in point. In the 90's a mother who had her baby in the car accidentally cut off a pile of shit vato, while getting off the 60 in Mesa, AZ. This guy unloaded five rounds from a revolver into her car NEARLY HITTING HER SIX MONTH OLD IN THE CAR SEAT. Traffic stopped and he got out of the car, reloading the gun, walking up to her door to shoot her. She had a legal .40 Glock and leveled that fucker on the spot. That baby would have lost it's mother that day. Do you think that pile of shit would have EVER had a change of heart, and decide to sell his gun back in some bullshit community service ploy? Do you think the Zetas will ever decide to be a peaceful group, and put down their weapons? We live in an un-perfect world, with assholes who wake up in the morning knowing they are going to hurt someone that day. With a gun. So are we supposed to live in a world where only the bad guys have the guns "that kill people", and we who worry about the laws are powerless against them? In a perfect world we would all get along. But guess what. People are not all the same throughout the world, and not all people have the ability to have peace in their lives.

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  10. GUNS DON'T KILL - people kill
    DRUGS DONT'T KILL - people kill

    so why guns are legal and drugs are not ?

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  11. In Mexico drugs for personal use are legal, guns for personal use are illegal? Cronyn is carrying the football for Republicans it is a total bullshit waste of time,trying to Maximize the damage to Democrats.

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  12. @ 2:49 Very good points!

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  13. 8:18 you touched a nerve with many folks here, me included.

    Fast & Furious was brought to you by our US Federal Government. Care of DOJ chief Eric Holder and his minions at the ATF. Certainly many if not hundreds have died becuase of this ill conceived plan. You should understand that the ATF is also the federal law enforcement agency that gave us the Ruby Ridge ambush, which killed 3 innocent people. It was also responsible for the deaths of 82 innocent people in the Branch dividian compound siege in Waco texas.

    People like you vote for this kind dysfunction. They call it Liberalism. I call it rot, from the inside out.

    Most resonable people would conclude that the only plausible reason for a program like Fast & Furious to be facilitated and implemented by the government would be for some political agenda. The ATF has publicly admitted they coerced the gun store owners to sell weapons to known straw purchasers and made absolutely no attempt to track the weapons after they were sold.

    This is a progrom that violates so many state and federal criminal statutes it could not have been designed and implemented at the state level without the approval of top DOJ principles. Obama himself was qouted from conversations with Sarah Brady about "off the radar" efforts by the administration to move gun control forward.

    This is an administration that has patently lied to the American people about so many things (Patient Affordable Care Act is the first that comes to mind) to move advance their agenda that it's hardly a stretch to connect the dots on something this egregious.

    Ultimately, your personal safety is YOUR responsiblity. The Government is NOT going to take care of you. Mexico is the perfect example.

    Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have.

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  14. Hey, did you hear the one about the gun that killed people? Yeah, it was a loaded gun sitting on the table all by itself! NOT!!

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  15. Anonymous said...

    Someone explain this to me... is he saying the ATF was actively investigating 'ma & pa' gun shops to see if they were illegally selling guns to straw purchasers... But at the exact same time the ATF was directing these......
    October 25, 2011 5:52 AM

    Because the ATF is the most corrupted agency there is. At the time of early last year, don't you remember Obama was going on with how we need tuffer gun laws to stop the weapons going south and how 95% of the guns in mexico were from the US gun dealers? That was their plan but it got foiled and now Obama is still god in the liberals eyes.

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