Thursday, September 29, 2011



Note: for those who may have missed them.

Babeu: ATF agents accomplices to murder in gun program
by (September 29th, 2011 @ 8:04am)

PHOENIX -- Federal agents who allowed weapons into the hands of
Mexican drug cartels are accomplices to murder, according to Pinal
County Sheriff Paul Babeu.

Babeu spoke with CNN's Anderson Cooper Wednesday night about the
"Fast and Furious" weapons program conducted by the U.S. Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The program filtered weapons purchased
in the United States into Mexico, where they were to be tracked.
However, Babeu said there was no tracking mechanism and that the
weapons have been used in more than 200 murders.

Three of the guns, Babeu said, were found at the scene where Border
Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed last December in a shootout north
of Nogales.
"I'm fearful that not just my deputies, but other officers, citizens
in America, we are going to be facing the barrels of guns that have
been put in the hands of the most violent criminals in North America
and who's going to be held accountable?" Babeu told Cooper.

When asked if he believed ATF agents have been accomplices to murder,
Babeu replied, "Absolutely," and added, "Now, that's one step away
from Eric Holder (U.S. attorney general). This is his Department of
Justice and there are people who have lost their lives."

Babeu said the U.S. put guns into the hands of cartels working to
topple Mexico's government.

The sheriff said "Operation Fast and Furious" made no sense at all.
He said it was patterned after the concept of sometimes letting
drugs, cash, people go and watching a crime in progress to see where
it leads.

But, he said using the concept with weapons "is pure insanity."
"It's never been done before -- to give weapons like this. Their idea
was to track the weapons. There was no tracking mechanism. Now, all
these weapons are nowhere to be found and for years this will haunt
the conscience of America rightly," Babeu said.

Watch Babeu's interview with Anderson Cooper 360.

Gunrunning Informant Used Taxpayer Money to Buy Drugs, Possibly Guns,
Lawmakers Allege
By William Lajeunesse
Published September 29, 2011

Congressional investigators are confronting the Justice Department
about evidence they say indicates an FBI informant used U.S. taxpayer
money not only to buy drugs but also possibly to buy guns for the
Sinaloa cartel.
Those facts apparently were known by the FBI and DEA as early as 2009
but not passed on to key people in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives, which went on to spent millions of dollars
and thousands of man hours trying to identify that informant and
others gun traffickers like him through the controversial Operation
Fast and Furious.

The informant first received at least $3,500 in official law
enforcement funds as payment for illegal narcotics, according to a
letter Tuesday to Attorney General Eric Holder from Rep. Darrell Issa
and Sen. Charles Grassley. Issa and Grassley, who don't elaborate on
the nature of that payment, say the informant then became the
"financier" for a firearms trafficking ring while cooperating with
the FBI and receiving "additional payments as a confidential informant."
Click here to read the letter.
The informant, identified only as "CI#1," was allegedly buying guns
in January 2010 from Manuel Celis-Acosta, the Phoenix man considered
the main target of Operation Fast and Furious, which began about the
same time. It was intended to follow guns purchased by so-called
"straw buyers" in the United States to the traffickers who were
selling them to the cartels in Mexico.
Fast and Furious came under intense scrutiny after it was revealed
that U.S. authorities let illicit sales proceed but then lost track
of hundreds of the guns, some of which ended up at the scenes of
violent crimes, including the killing of a U.S. border agent.
Issa and Grassley, both Republicans, asked Holder to tell Congress
how much the Department of Justice paid the informant, when he became
an informant and how much the informant spent buying guns for the
"If ATF had known in January 2010, as the DEA and the FBI apparently
knew, that the straw purchasing ring was procuring weapons for CI #1,
then Operation Fast and Furious may have ended 10 months sooner than
it did," the lawmakers wrote in their letter. "This would have
prevented hundreds of assault type weapons from being illegally straw
purchased on behalf of Mexican drug cartels."
The lawmakers, citing confidential sources, said the informant
regularly traded information for money with Jim Roberts, the DEA's
agent-in-charge in Juarez, Mexico. The letter also for the first time
names higher-ups within the Justice Department who knew Celis-Acosta
was moving "heavy-duty firearms" to the Mexican cartels.
"Sources have indicated that this information was communicated to
numerous senior people in the (DOJ) Criminal Division, including
Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer and several of his top
deputies, including Jason Weinstein, Kenneth Blanco and John Keeney,"
the letter says.
As for the frequent criticism that the ATF unnecessarily prolonged
Operation Fast and Furious, the letter says the agency knew by July
2010 that Celis-Acosta had crossed the U.S.-Mexican border 15 times,
but chose not to arrest him, even though those crossings -- and the
hundreds of guns ATF agents witnessed him receiving -- constituted
probable cause.
Grassley and Issa have requested Holder turn over the requested
documents by Oct. 4. So far, the Justice Department has provided just
12 documents over the last month, according to a Grassley spokesman.

Dan con el primer cargamento de armas de Rápido y Furioso en EU
Al menos 40 rifles de asalto AK-47 estaban almacenados en El Paso,
Texas, para ser enviadas a México, aseguró la ATF

EU le debe a México explicación por Rápido y Furioso, reprocha la PGR
LOS ANGELES, 29 de septiembre.- Un cargamento de 40 armas y chalecos
antibalas descubierto en El Paso, Texas, en enero de 2010, formaba
parte de aquellas cuya pista se evaporó en el fallido operativo
'Rápido y Furioso', revelaron documentos oficiales difundidos hoy
aquí por el diario Los Angeles Times.

Datos contenidos en reportes de la ATF y testimonios en corte
obtenidos por el periódico señalaron que esas armas estaban
almacenadas para ser enviadas a México y serían el primer registro de
las armas pérdidas.

Según un documento de ATF citado por el diario, Christopher Sean
Steward compró un cargamento compuesto por 40 rifles de asalto AK-47
el 24 de diciembre de 2009, de la tienda Lone Wolf Trading Co. En
Glendale, un suburbio de Phoenix.

El cargamento formó parte de las 290 armas de fuego que compró
Steward, un delincuente que ya había sido condenado por posesión de
drogas, abundó la versión del rotativo.

Según correos electrónicos de la ATF y una declaración jurada
obtenida de un tribunal federal en El Paso, agentes que daban
seguimiento al tráfico de drogas fueron detrás de un auto sospechoso
en El Paso, Texas, en 2010.

La versión apuntó que los agentes siguieron el auto hasta que fue
estacionado en una residencia el 13 de enero de 2010.

El conductor fue identificado como Alberto Sandoval y al revisar el
vehículo la policía encontró las armas y otros dispositivos.

Un correo electrónico de Oscar B. Flores, agente especial de ATF en
El Paso, indicó que Sandoval le dijo a las autoridades que lo
interrogaron que le pagaron mil dólares por almacenarlas.

'Las armas de fuego serían guardadas en la residencia hasta que
pudieran ser transportados a México', admitió Sandoval, siempre según
la versión publicada por el rotativo angelino.

Más mensajes de correo electrónico que discutieron la detención de
Sandoval y la recuperación de las armas fueron enviados a Washington
y al director de la ATF, reportó el Times.

Sandoval fue acusado y declarado culpable de cargos de posesión de
armas de fuego en mayo de 2010 en un tribunal federal de distrito en
El Paso, Texas.

En enero pasado, Steward y otros 19 fueron acusados en el único caso
criminal derivado de 'Rápido y Furioso'.

El fallido operativo fue orquestado en 2009 por la Oficina Federal de
Alcohol, Tabaco, Armas de Fuego y Explosivos (ATF, por sus siglas en
inglés) con el fin de rastrear miles de armas que terminaron en manos
del crimen organizado en México.

El operativo fracasó luego de que las propias autoridades que lo
iniciaron en armerías de Phoenix (Arizona) perdieron la pista de las

2011-09-29 15:15:00

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