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Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Approved Sales to Mexican Gun
Summary of the eRumor: This is a forwarded email with
a YouTube video link of a report that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives allowed an Arizona gun dealer to complete
weapons transactions, even if employees suspected that the products
would end up South of the border and in the hands of drug gangs.
The Truth: The video and allegations are real,
according to various news agencies.
March 3, 2011, CBS News reported
allegations that Bureau
of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents were ordered
to stand down and allow thousands of weapons to enter Mexico from the US
in a tactic called "Letting Guns Walk."
According to the report, this was an ATF planned operation to track
weapons that would later be found in crime scenes and hopefully allow
agents to gather intelligence that would lead toward the apprehension of
not just the gun runners but the actual drug cartels.
Also, know as "Operation Fast and Furious," the plan did not work and
blew up to become the "agency's biggest scandal in nearly two decades,"
according to a
June 18, 2011 article in the Wall Street Journal. The
article also said, "the ATF
Phoenix office ran the program in 2009-2010 to monitor weapons purchases
by suspected gun smugglers."
Darrel Issa (R, California and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) are leading the
congressional inquiry of the failed operation that was sparked after an
Arizona shootout in December 2010, which resulted in the death of a U.S. border
agent. Among the weapons discovered were two assault weapons
bought in a gun shop which took part in the operation. Authorities have
charged an unnamed Mexican national in the shootout.
The Wall Street
Journal and other news agencies speculated that the agency acting
head, Kenneth Melson, is expected to be ousted by the Justice Department
by the end of June 2011. On August 30, 2011 Melson was
reassigned to a lesser post in the Justice Department according to a
Fox News article written that day and administration officials made
an announcement that B. Todd Jones, a U.S. Attorney for the
District of Minnesota, would replace Melson.
YouTube Video of Interview with owner
of Carter Country in Arizona
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
Subject: ATF Administrators Providing Guns to Mexican Gun Cartels
BATFE supervisors involved in providing guns to Mexican drug cartels!
They are either on the payroll of drug lords, or using this to
provide a "problem" regarding guns hops in Arizona and Texas...or both!
2 For 1
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