APRIL 10, 2012
In what appears to be the latest of many crimes resulting from the Obama Administration’s disastrous Mexican gun-running operation, a federal agent has been indicted for trying to smuggle high-powered weapons and large amounts of ammo south of the border.
The U.S. Border Patrol agent undoubtedly got his idea from a failed government project, dubbed Fast and Furious, that put U.S.-sold weapons in the hands of Mexican drug traffickers. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) ran the once-secret program that allowed guns from the U.S. to be smuggled into Mexico so they could eventually be traced to drug cartels. Instead, federal law enforcement officers lost track of hundreds of weapons which have been used in an unknown number of crimes.
The lost guns have been linked to violence on both sides of the border, including the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent (Brian Terry) in Peck Canyon Arizona. In that case, the guns—assault weapons known as AK-47s—were traced through their serial numbers to a Glendale, Arizona dealer that led to a Phoenix man the feds repeatedly allowed to smuggle firearms into Mexico.
Judicial Watch has sued the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the ATF for Fast and Furious records and has already obtained internal government documents exposing a high number of crimes connected to the experiment. For instance, a Fast and Furious firearm (7.62mm Romarm/Cugir) was involved in aggravated assault against a police officer in Arizona and in Mexico the weapons have been used in a number of violent crimes.
This week’s news of a Homeland Security agent getting busted only adds insult to injury. The Border Patrol officer (Ricardo Montalvo) from El Paso was arrested and charged for buying ammunition and firearms, such as AK-47 pistols, favored by Mexican drug cartels. The idea, according to a federal indictment cited in a news report, was to smuggle the goods to Mexico.
Ironically, the case is being investigated by the ATF, the same federal agency that masterminded the shameful Mexican gun-running operation in the first place. Issued by a grand jury, the 20-count indictment says Montalvo and his girlfriend were engaged in a conspiracy as “straw purchasers” who bought nine firearms, 20,000 rounds of ammunition and four flare launchers.
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