Wednesday, March 28, 2012



Slain border agent's family 'sickened' by revelations
by Mackenzie Weinger -
Mar. 28, 2012 04:05 PM

The family of the U.S. Border Patrol agent killed in connection with
Operation Fast and Furious said it "is sickened" to learn that law
enforcement agencies were not sharing information that could have
possibly closed the investigation early and spared his death and
other bloodshed.

"The Terry Family, like most of America, is sickened to read the
latest revelations relating to ATF's error-plagued and misguided Fast
and Furious Investigation," the family of slain agent Brian Terry
wrote in a statement. "It is beyond our comprehension that U.S.
federal law enforcement agencies were not talking with one another."

The Los Angeles Times reported last week it had obtained documents
showing that the law enforcement agencies were not coordinating their
respective investigations. The ATF released the alleged gun
trafficker Manuel Fabian Celis-Acosta in May 2010 in the hopes he
would bring them two drug lords, who were actually brothers and FBI
informants, Eduardo and Jesus Miramontes-Varela. After Celis-Acosta
was arrested in Feb. 2011, the Los Angeles Times reported the ATF
learned that the brothers were secret FBI informants.

"One can only imagine that if the FBI, DEA and U.S. Attorney
personnel had only shared their information with ATF agents that the
Miramontes brothers were FBI informants, [then] the entire Fast and
Furious debacle could have been avoided," the family wrote.

"With this single piece of information, ATF could have chosen not to
proceed with Operation Fast and Furious, which ultimately put almost
2,000 assault weapons into the hands of some of the most dangerous
criminals in North America. Had this simple piece of information been
shared among the different federal law enforcement agencies in
Arizona, some 200 Mexican citizens would not have had to lose their
lives in needless violence and U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry
would still be alive," they said.

The operation attempted to investigate drug cartels and weapons
traffickers but ended up supplying them with weapons. Investigators
lost thousands of firearms, and many of these weapons crossed the
border into Mexico. Terry was shot in December 2010 with guns linked
to Operation Fast and Furious.

The Arizona Republic is a member of the Politico Network.

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