The Obama administration had numerous opportunities to arrest Mexican drug and weapons traffickers before murdering a federal U.S. agent and seriously wounding his partner but opted for the hands-off approach, a new federal audit reveals. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which operates under the Department of Justice (DOJ), should have stopped the traffickers—members of the Los Zetas organization—long before the Immigration and Customs (ICE) agents were ambushed in Mexico with firearms smuggled south of the border thanks to a once-secret Obama administration gun-running operation.
In just 10 days a new administration takes over the executive branch of government. Among the agencies to be taken over will be the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF). Will the infamous Operation & Furious documents be available to the newcomers or has the current BATF already destroyed those files? Ditto for the Department of Justice.
One of the guns used in the November 13, 2015 Paris terrorist attacks came from Phoenix, Arizona where the Obama administration allowed criminals to buy thousands of weapons illegally in a deadly and futile “gun-walking” operation known as “Fast and Furious.”
A Report of Investigation (ROI) filed by a case agent in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) tracked the gun used in the Paris attacks to a Phoenix gun owner who sold it illegally, “off book,” Judicial Watch’s law enforcement sources confirm. Federal agents tracing the firearm also found the Phoenix gun owner to be in possession of an unregistered fully automatic weapon, according to law enforcement officials with firsthand knowledge of the investigation.
The investigative follow up of the Paris weapon consisted of tracking a paper trail using a 4473 form, which documents a gun’s ownership history by, among other things, using serial numbers. The Phoenix gun owner that the weapon was traced back to was found to have at least two federal firearms violations—for selling one weapon illegally and possessing an unregistered automatic—but no enforcement or prosecutorial action was taken against the individual. Instead, ATF leaders went out of their way to keep the information under the radar and ensure that the gun owner’s identity was “kept quiet,” according to law enforcement sources involved with the case. “Agents were told, in the process of taking the fully auto, not to anger the seller to prevent him from going public,” a veteran law enforcement official told Judicial Watch.
It’s not clear if the agency, which is responsible for cracking down on the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, did this because the individual was involved in the Fast and Furious gun-running scheme. An ATF spokesman, Corey Ray, at the agency’s Washington D.C. headquarters told Judicial Watch that “no firearms used in the Paris attacks have been traced” by the agency. When asked about the ROI report linking the weapon used in Paris to Phoenix, Ray said “I’m not familiar with the report you’re referencing.” Judicial Watch also tried contacting the Phoenix ATF office, but multiple calls were not returned.
The ATF ran the Fast and Furious experiment and actually allowed criminals, “straw purchasers,” working for Mexican drug cartels to buy weapons at federally licensed firearms dealers in Phoenix and allowed the guns to be “walked”—possessed without any knowledge of their whereabouts. The government lost track of most of the weapons and many have been used to murder hundreds of innocent people as well as a U.S. Border Patrol agent, Brian Terry, in Arizona. A mainstream newspaper reported that a Muslim terrorist who planned to murder attendees of a Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland, Texas last year bought a 9-millimeter pistol at a Phoenix gun shop that participated in the ATF’s Fast and Furious program despite drug and assault charges that should have raised red flags. Judicial Watch has thoroughly investigated Fast and Furious and has sued the Obama administration for information about the once-secret operation.
WASHINGTON — One of the guns that Mexican officials say was found at the hideout of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera has been found to be associated with Fast and Furious, a failed “gun-walking” operation, according to the Justice Department.
The department said in a letter to members of Congress that a .50-caliber rifle that Mexican officials sent for tracing after Guzman’s arrest in January has been connected to Fast and Furious.
Officials say the weapon was one of 19 firearms that Mexican authorities said were recovered from the hideout and was the only one determined to be associated with the botched sting operation, in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed gun runners to buy weapons in hopes of tracking them and disrupting gun smuggling rungs.
The rifle was bought in July 2010 in a straw purchase by someone not known to ATF at the time. The buyer was later identified and came under investigation but was never indicted. The weapon is not known to be associated with any other crime, the Justice Department says.
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com …
Family Security Matters
The liberal media avoid reporting on President Obama’s many scandals  at any cost, and Fast and Furious is no exception. Despite the media’s studied avoidance of these scandals, their impact continues. When Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents discovered that a weapon from Fast and Furious was found in Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s Mexican hideout, there was virtual silence from the mainstream media.
But U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson’s ruling that President Obama cannot use executive privilege to prevent the release of records to Congress has the potential to breathe new life into this ongoing scandal. “Berman Jackson limited her order to information not covered by other protections and told the Justice Department to produce it by Feb. 2,” reports  Bloomberg. The judge is an Obama appointee, and yet none of the network evening news shows found this story to be newsworthy. The only mention of it in The Washington Post was in an online blog, PowerPost, under the heading “Hot on the Right,” that linked to a Politico story. You see, it’s a story that only appeals to conservatives, so why bother to put a reporter on it?
Don’t expect reporters to suddenly start reporting on Fast and Furious’ ongoing death toll.
Just some Mexican guys out for a walk in the desert.
When a jury gathers next week for the trial of two men charged with the murder of a U.S. federal agent, it will not hear any details of how two guns found at the murder scene were part of a U.S. government-sanctioned weapon program, a federal judge has ruled.
Friday morning, U.S. District Court Judge David Bury agreed with U.S. prosecutors to keep the details of Operation Fast and Furious out of the upcoming trial for the murder of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
Terry was killed in a firefight with a crew of armed Mexican men who were scouting the desert in search of drug smugglers to rob. Two AK-47 variants were found at the crime scene. Those rifles were purchased in a gun-tracking operation overseen by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Operation Fast and Furious. ATF officials had hoped weapons purchased at a Glendale gun store would eventually turn up in the hands of high-level Mexican drug traffickers. Instead, ATF lost track of more than 1,400 guns. The two found at Terry’s death were part of the operation, congressional investigators later found.
Ivan Soto Barraza and Jesus Leonel Sanchez Meza were apprehended in Mexico, two years later.
The U.S. asked the judge this summer to keep the details of Fast and Furious out of the murder trial, stating it was irrelevant.
Bury agreed. “I agree with one exception. I can’t find any relevance expect if the government should open the door,” he said.
If the government brings up the origins of the guns found, Bury ruled that defendants can then bring up Fast and Furious.
Bury ordered the defendants “not to refer to … or elicit any testimony regarding Operation Fast and Furious. Understood?”
The National Instant Check System (NICS) performs a check when people buy firearms from federally licensed dealers in the United States. It is also used to perform background checks on people applying for firearm carry permits in those states where such permits are required or offered by law. As there are now over 15 million carry permits in the United States, and firearm sales numbers are in the 10 to 20 million range per year, you can see that the number of NICS checks is not a perfect fit for the number of firearms sold.