Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

ATF's Operation Fast And Furious Ties to New Mexico?

Saturday, November 19, 2011 |


Rep. Steve Pearce: Who's Accountable For 1,500 Guns ATF Agents Lost Track Of?

By: koat.com

New Mexico Rep. Steve Pearce said on Saturday he wants to know who else needs to be held responsible for a failed operation that has left more than 1,500 guns unaccounted for.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, it launched Operation Fast and Furious to discover how Mexican cartels were getting American guns.

Officials said that Arizona ATF agents watched gun smugglers buy more than 1,500 automatic weapons and walk across the border with the guns. And then, they said, they lost track of them.

Many guns resurfaced at crime scenes on both sides of the border, and the Columbus, N.M. mayor, police chief and village trustee has since been arrested, officials said.

"(The operation) has actually been a dismal failure," Pearce said.

The congressional report showed a major link between Fast and Furious and the arms trafficking ring in Columbus.

According to the congressional report, New Mexico border patrol agents pulled over Blas Gutierrez, a village trustee and the mastermind behind the Columbus gun-running ring in January of last year.

Inside the car, agents said they found a stash of weapons, including AK-47s and pistols known as "cop killers." According to the report, a number of the guns had been purchased by the main suspects in Operation Fast and Furious just days before

But instead of running the serial numbers while the guns were in their hands, border patrol agents said they handed the weapons back and let Gutierrez go. The guns were then smuggled across the border, and police said one wound up at a murder scene in Mexico.

"I agree 100 percent that (the ATF or border patrol has blood on their hands). They should be held personably accountable in these matters," Pearce said.

A border patrol spokesman said he couldn't comment because it's an ongoing investigation.

"I think we want to know where the 1,600 guns are at this point. We want to know the link to New Mexico, and how many firearms were released here. How many firearms were provided to individuals, and who are those individuals?" Gov. Susana Martinez said.

So far, the interim director of the ATF has been assigned to a new job, and the U.S. attorney in Arizona has resigned in the wake of the controversial operation.

Pearce said he wants to know who needs to be held accountable in New Mexico.

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6 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Let me guess, all of this will be pinned on border patrol. The Obama administration hates the border patrol. What better scapegoat!

Anonymous said...

The way the us government works there will be no prosecutions. They will either be transferred or promoted!

Anonymous said...

N---___---

We need to wake up as citizens of this country and punish those who are responsible. But here is the tough part, most of you are going to believe the media when they tell you who was responsible for the operation. But in reality stuff like this is known about by top government, and military personnel who are often the ones who start the op and provide the necessary tools to aid in these ops.THE WAR ON DRUGS AND CARTELS IS A FRAUD, AND ONLY BENEFITS THOSE INVOLVED IN PROTECTING US FROM OUR OWN DECISIONS.We desperately need change, but not the type that OBAMA is inflicting on us. Our elected president has indebted my unborn son and his generation based on bailing out the big corps and not letting a falure fail.
RON PAUL 2012 RESTORE AMERICA KNOW, Promote self liberty and decrease peoples dependence on government.

Anonymous said...

It was the ATF's own agents that blew the whistle on this operation - so why do they keep trying to blame it on ATF's agents? The concerned front line agents tried multiple times to stop this operation and escalated their concerns.

Anonymous said...

We do need CHANGE and we need it FAST. Vote out any border political figures with ties to narcos. Many of us live near the border. Do the one thing we can do. Find out who is dishonest or responsible for hiring corrupt, narco-leaning politicians and get rid of the losers. Vote out all losers that make irresponsible decisions regarding security, no matter which party, Vote 'em the hell out. We do have that much power. Don't be lazy, find out, spread the word, before we're as infiltrated as Mexico.

Anonymous said...

@ November 20, 2011 9:02 AM

Correction field agents tried to stop it, the ATF supervisors in charge and Holder are the ones with the plans.

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