Eric Holder the probe was flawed, “it must never happen again”

Official photo as Deputy Attorney General, ca....

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At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, Eric Holder said that the probe was flawed in concept as well as in execution, never should have happened and “it must never happen again”.

The operation, conducted in 2009, employed a now-controversial investigative tactic known as gun-walking. Several federal agents said they were ordered to let suspected straw buyers walk away from Phoenix-area gun shops with AK-47s and other weapons believed headed for Mexican drug cartels.

“The goal of the United States was that these guns would lead them to Mexican drug cartel leaders and they could work with Mexican authorities to pursue arrests.”  Legislators were questioning the attorney-general about what he knew of the operation and when he had learned of its wrong turn.

“Allegations [have been] made by the Senate Republicans that, in fact, the attorney-general knew about the operation far earlier than he is revealing, according to emails that have been made public – and that he did little to stop it before it was too late.”

But Holder, the butt of criticism in the congressional investigation into the justice department’s handling of the operation, says he learned of problems in Fast and Furious earlier this year.

Lost guns

About 1,400 of the 2,000 guns went missing, two of which turned up at the scene of a shootout in Arizona that resulted in the death of Brian Terry, a Customs and Border Protection agent.

Holder expressed regret to Terry’s family.

Holder’s comments came as the panel’s top Republican Senator, Charles Grassley, said the operation represented an “utter failure” by federal law enforcement officials to enforce existing gun laws.

Grassley asked who the attorney-general “plans to hold accountable” for the arms trafficking probe.

Holder said he wanted to know why and how firearms that should have been under surveillance could end up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

Al Jazeera’s Adam Raney, reporting from Mexico City, said there was not much direct reaction to Holder’s comments, but, in the past, Mexican officials have repeatedly expressed concern about guns coming over from the US.

“Officials in the past have said that a lot of the drug violence here is as a result of guns from the US.”

He said even Holder acknowledged that from about 94,000 guns studied in Mexico, 64,000 had been traced back to the US.

Felipe Calderon, the Mexican president, has said that much of the violence in Mexico is easily attributable to guns from the US.

Holder said that “unfortunately, we will feel its effects for years to come as guns that were lost during this operation continue to show up at crime scenes both here and in Mexico”.

130 Customs and Border Patrol officers have been arrested on charges of corruption!

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents

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In the last three years, about 130 agents of Immigration and Customs and Border Patrol United States have been arrested on charges of corruption for ties to Mexican drug cartels, of which 23 so far in 2011, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS, in English).

Last June, the Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, Alan Bersin, admitted before the Senate Subcommittee on Homeland Security and Intergovernmental Affairs, the long “seven years and tens of thousands of employees have been tainted by this, with evidence of corruption. We take every case seriously. ”

Bersin said the officers participated in “acts of corruption, including drug smuggling, alien smuggling, money laundering and conspiracy.”

According to the DHS, the bribing strategies involve different levels in the border to inform them of operating, monitoring, research and locate government actions.

The Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reported that one of its active agents, Jason AL, 34, was arrested Oct. 18 on charges of drug trafficking, and according to the documents court, also accused of attempted conspiracy and distribution.

The officer was arrested after trying to flee at high speed while marijuana packages thrown out the window of his official vehicle. He had been under surveillance for over a month until a known smuggler arrested gave Arizona authorities a track in an effort to receive a lesser sentence.

According to a complainant, the detainee used his official position of ICE drug for Mexican cartels, including theft. The prisoner faces 15 to 40 years in prison, said Manuel Tarango, spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in Phoenix, Arizona.

“ICE is cooperating with federal and state authorities. We are committed to helping agencies in the investigation of this incident,” said Vincent Picard, spokesman for the agency.

Additionally, ICE reported that the cartels increased in the last six months, the drug crosses Arizona.

“With these arrests have taken a significant blow to Mexican drug trafficking organizations that moved the drug through the Arizona desert,” said Matt Allen, ICE agent in Phoenix.

Most recent arrest of Mexican cartel members arrested in Arizona occurred on 13 October, when ICE agents arrested in the central and southern Arizona 17 people who formed a drug trafficking ring, who are accused of 22.5 tons per month traffic from Mexico into the United States.

ATF, had prior Knowledge that cash was in the pipeline…………………!

 

Fast and Furious

Fast and Furious

In a breaking news story reported today it was revealed that the ATF—the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives—had prior knowledge that cash was in the pipeline, multi-thousands of dollars from taxpayers, for the Gun-walker scheme known as ‘Operation Fast and Furious.’

New information has just been disclosed from ATF whistleblowers and other sources inside the government indicating that in 2009 ATF agents on the ground who were involved in the Gunwalker scheme were aware that money from the federal government would be made available to straw purchasers, unnamed, faceless pawns that the federal government used to buy and smuggle weapons into Mexico. These persons used the government money supplied by taxpayers to buy large quantities of weapons from gun stores in Arizona, weapons that would be walked across the border where they would be placed into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

Two key figures are central to the discovery of this new information: Hope MacAllister of the Phoenix Field Division of the ATF, and Andre Howard, owner of the Lone Wolf Trading Company in Glendale, Arizona, one of the many local gun store owners who was cooperating with the ATF in allowing straw purchases of weapons at their businesses.

money found hidden in reels of telephone cable, Mexican drug cartels.

spools of USD hidden in Rubber cable

spools of USD hidden in Rubber cable

 

The Office of Special Investigations into Organized Crime (SIEDO) applied the declaration of abandonment of two million 409 thousand U.S. $ 2,409,000 for the federal government.

SIEDO was formed in the wake of a 2003 scandal that found agents in the Attorney General‘s anti-narcotics prosecution office, FEADS, actively working for or protecting Mexican drug cartels. As a result, SIEDO was formed with 117 agents whose backgrounds and psychological profiles were intensely researched, in the hope that agents prone to Cartel corruption would be weeded out before they could enter the force.

The Attorney General’s Office (PGR) reported that last June 17,that Mexico, Customs agents made available the full sum $2,490,000 to the cash SIEDO International Airport of Mexico City (AICM).

In a statement the agency said, that according to investigations, the money was found hidden in reels of telephone cable, would be transported to the city of Vargas, Venezuela, air line through Colombia.

The Federal Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 182-A, indicates that in the absence of expression of interest within 90 calendar days from date of notification, the lost funds shall be declared abandoned property and handed over to the federal government.

Now the Ministry of Finance will determine the distribution of money between the PGR, the Ministry of Health and the Federal Judiciary for the benefit of Mexican society