Note: For those who may have missed it. There has been no lack of
grenades in cartel hands in Mexico. Both hand grenades and 40 mm.
BTW, some Mexican police forces have also been issued grenades,
remains to be seen how many of those have made it to the gangs. Many
directly sourced from the supplies of various governments.
(CBS News) There's a new twist in the government's "gunwalking"
scandal involving an even more dangerous weapon: grenades.
"Gunwalking" subpoena for AG Holder imminent
CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, who has
reported on this story from the beginning, said on "The Early Show"
that the investigation into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms
and Explosives (ATF)'s so-called "Fast and Furious" operation
branches out to a case involving grenades. Sources tell her a suspect
was left to traffic and manufacture them for Mexican drug cartels.
Police say Jean Baptiste Kingery, a U.S. citizen, was a veritable
grenade machine. He's accused of smuggling parts for as many as 2,000
grenades into Mexico for killer drug cartels -- sometimes under the
direct watch of U.S. law enforcement.
For more on this investigation, visit CBS Investigates.
Law enforcement sources say Kingery could have been prosecuted in the
U.S. twice for violating export control laws, but that, each time,
prosecutors in Arizona refused to make a case.
Grenades are weapons-of-choice for the cartels. An attack on Aug. 25
in a Monterrey, Mexico casino killed 53 people.
Sources tell CBS News that, in January 2010, ATF had Kingery under
surveillance after he bought about 50 grenade bodies and headed to
Mexico. But they say prosecutors wouldn't agree to make a case. So,
as ATF agents looked on, Kingery and the grenade parts crossed the
border -- and simply disappeared.
Six months later, Kingery allegedly got caught leaving the U.S. for
Mexico with 114 disassembled grenades in a tire. One ATF agent told
investigators he literally begged prosecutors to keep Kingery in
custody this time, fearing he was supplying narco-terrorists, but was
again ordered to let Kingery go.
The prosecutors -- already the target of controversy for overseeing
"Fast and Furious," wouldn't comment on the grenades case. U.S.
Attorney Dennis Burke recently resigned and his assistant, Emory
Hurley, has been transferred. Sources say Hurley is the one who let
Kingery go, saying grenade parts are "novelty items" and the case
"lacked jury appeal."
Attkisson added on "The Early Show" that, in August, Mexican
authorities raided Kingery's stash house and factory, finding
materials for 1,000 grenades. He was charged with trafficking and
allegedly admitted not only to making grenades, but also to teaching
cartels how to make them, as well as helping cartel members convert
semi-automatic rifles to fully-automatic. As one source put it:
There's no telling how much damage Kingery did in the year-and-a-half
since he was first let go. The Justice Department inspector general
is now investigating this, along with "Fast and Furious."