US Justice officials knew in '09 of Tucson 'gun walking' to Mexico
By Tim Steller, Arizona Daily Star |
Posted: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 3:13 pm
After reviewing a Tucson gun-trafficking case, federal prosecutor
Laura Gwinn wrote to her supervisors in Washington, D.C. that the
case had a problem: "A lot of guns seem to have gone to Mexico."
It was September 2009.
That same month federal investigators in Phoenix launched an
investigation that ended up sending even more high-powered firearms
to criminals in Mexico - Operation Fast and Furious.
Newly released Justice Department documents show the links between
the Tucson case, Operation Wide Receiver, and the Phoenix case that
exposed the discredited investigative tactic of letting smugglers
take guns to Mexico. They also show that officials as high as
Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer knew that the Tucson case had
involved letting guns into Mexico.
Their response focuses on the issue as a one-time public-relations
problem, not an ongoing, problematic practice.
Repeatedly in the 108 pages of documents, a Justice Department
official named Jason Weinstein raises concerns about the fact that
hundreds of guns were sent by traffickers to Mexico. On April 12,
2010, he wrote to two members of the department's gang unit:
"Been thinking more about 'Wide Receiver 1.' ATF HQ should/will be
embarrased that they let this many guns walk - I'm stunned, based on
what we've had to do to make sure not even a single operable weapon
walked in UC [undercover] operations I've been involved in planning -
and there will be press about that."
Read more of this story Wednesday in the Arizona Daily Star and on
Read more: http://azstarnet.com/news/local/border/us-justice-