Fast and Furious Update: Judicial Watch Sues City of Phoenix for Police Department’s ATF, DHS, DEA, and FBI Records about 2013 Gang-Style Assault
DHS officers joined Phoenix police detectives in August raid that apprehended suspects in shooting
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that on October 2, 2014, it filed a lawsuit against the City of Phoenix, AZ, seeking the Police Department’s records relating to the July 29, 2013, gang-style assault on an apartment building that left two people wounded, including its communications with Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) (Judicial Watch v. City of Phoenix (No. CV2014- 012018)).
Three weeks following the assault, four suspects were apprehended in a raid conducted jointly by Phoenix police detectives and investigators from the DHS. According to press reports, “numerous rifles and handguns” were found during the service of the warrants. The Arizona Public Records Law suit was filed in the Superior Court for the State of Arizona in and for the County of Maricopa. Judicial Watch believes the reports detail that a weapon or weapons used in the assault are connected to the federal government’s Fast and Furious gunrunning operation.
The lawsuit, filed in accordance with an August 5, 2014, request filed by Judicial Watch, seeks the following:
- Complete copy (including supplements) of Phoenix Police Department report 201-3-01-344558 (621 N. 3Oth Pl., Phx. AZ on or around July 29, 2013). Including but, not limited to copies of crime scene photographs, impound property invoices, audio interviews, case status reports, booking slips, charging documents, and Maricopa County Attorney court /trial/case disposition records.
- Copies of related Phoenix Police Department, ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and/or Homeland Security reports as documented in DR 2013-01344558. Including but not limited to copies of related Phoenix Police, ATF, DEA, FBI and/or Homeland Security search and arrest warrants, affidavits, photographs, audio interviews, booking s1ips, charging documents and property invoices created and/or served on or around August 22, 2Ol-3 at locations on Quail Track Dr. and Monterosa St. related to DR 2013-01-344558.
According to press reports, on July 29, 2013, police investigating an apartment shooting in Phoenix – that left two people wounded – found an assault rifle in the front passenger area of a vehicle that had crashed into a fence surrounding the apartment complex. Police reported that the front windows and door of the apartment had multiple bullet strikes, and empty rifle bullet casings were found in on the grounds in front of the apartment. Also reported was a handgun at the scene of the crime.
Three weeks later, on August 21, 2013, five suspects tied to the July 29 shooting were arrested in a large-scale Phoenix drug raid. According to the Phoenix CBS affiliate, KPHO-TV, “Detectives from the Phoenix Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations served federal search warrants at 3525 W. Quail Track Dr. and 10142 W. Monterosa St.” where the five suspects were apprehended.
The presence of DHS investigators has raised questions because Phoenix was the location of the ATF’s deadly Fast and Furious gunrunning operation. Operation Fast and Furious was a Justice Department/Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) program in which the Obama administration allowed guns to go to Mexican drug cartels in the hopes that the guns would end up at crime scenes, thereby advancing gun-control policies. Fast and Furious weapons have been implicated in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and hundreds of other innocents in Mexico. Guns from the Fast and Furious scandal are expected to be used in criminal activity on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border for years to come.
On June 28, 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt by the House of Representatives over his refusal to turn over documents about why the Obama administration may have lied to Congress and refused for months to disclose the truth about the gunrunning operation. It marked the first time in U.S. history a sitting Attorney General was held in contempt of Congress.
As a result of a major court ruling in a separate federal open records lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice (No. 1:12-cv-01510), Judicial Watch will obtain information by October 22 from the Department of Justice that has been kept secret by President Obama from both Congress and the American people for nearly three years. Attorney General Holder announced his surprise retirement two days after the federal court ruling.
“We have little doubt that Fast and Furious guns are behind the crazed gun assault last summer in Phoenix,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Eric Holder admitted that his agency’s Fast and Furious guns would continue to be used for crimes for years to come. That is his real legacy as Attorney General, and we are confident that our lawsuit in Phoenix will expose yet another cover-up of Fast and Furious tragedies by the Obama administration.”