ATF gunrunning weapons turning up in Phoenix crime investigations

posted at 9:55 am on July 1, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

If Americans think that the ATF’s gunrunning fiasco will only impact Mexico, think again.  The same porous border that allowed the ATF and the Department of Justice to send a flood of illegal weapons south has already allowed for them to flow north as well.  The ABC affiliate in Phoenix uncovers evidence that weapons from Operation Fast and Furious have been found in crime scenes in the Valley of the Sun, a situation that one ATF agent says will continue “for years to come”:

For months the ABC15 Investigators have been searching through police reports and official government documents. We’ve discovered assault weapons linked to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ controversial “Fast and Furious” case strategy have turned up at crime scenes in Glendale and Phoenix communities. …

The ABC15 Investigators uncovered documents showing guns connected to at least two Glendale criminal cases and at least two Phoenix criminal cases also appear in the ATF’s Suspect Gun Database, a sort-of watch list for suspicious gun sales.

All four cases involve drug-related offenses. In one Glendale police report dated July 2010, police investigators working with DEA agents served search warrants at homes near 75th and Glendale avenues in Glendale, and 43rd and Glendale avenues in Phoenix as part of a “large scale marijuana trafficking” investigation.

Police investigators reported they “obtained information that members of the (trafficking) organization were using the homes…as stash houses used to store large amounts of marijuana temporarily.”

They reported finding hundreds of pounds of marijuana, more than $63,000 in U.S. currency and three guns inside the homes. One of the recovered weapons, a Romarm/Cugir WASR-10 rifle, appeared in an official ATF Suspect Gun Summary document in November 2009, proving agents knowingly allowed the suspicious gun sale, months before the weapon turned up at the crime scene.

In a separate Glendale Police Department case, dated November 2010, detectives discovered “bulk marijuana and weapons” inside a residence near 75th Avenue and Bethany Home Road in Glendale. Investigators recovered nearly 400 pounds of drugs and several firearms from the home.

One of the recovered weapons, another Romarm/Cugir WASR-10 rifle, appeared in an official ATF Suspect Gun Summary document in February 2010.

It could have been worse. Another case involved a traffic stop, where an ATF-linked AK-47 was seized. The officer who made the arrest should count himself lucky that the weapon was still in the trunk and not in the suspect’s hands.

Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) promises to investigate these cases toward the end of the video, and also warns that Phoenix hasn’t been the only area that has seen ATF weapons fueling crime. Congress should get to the bottom of that immediately. How many more cities will be paying the price for this tragically botched operation?

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But the REAL problem is citizens owning guns! /libs

search4truth on July 1, 2011 at 9:58 AM

Have we dragged anybody through cactus yet?

Quoting Plugs Biden, “This is a big F’ing deal!”

Khun Joe on July 1, 2011 at 9:59 AM

The administration should be named as a co-defendant in every one of these cases.

db on July 1, 2011 at 10:02 AM

This was done to allow muslim terrorists to see how easily they and their weapons could slip across the border.

SouthernGent on July 1, 2011 at 10:07 AM

This is the pattern: Conduct a program or system that creates a problem, then use the resulting ‘serious crisis’ to grab even more power.

Chip on July 1, 2011 at 10:08 AM

One of the recovered weapons, a Romarm/Cugir WASR-10 rifle, appeared in an official ATF Suspect Gun Summary document in November 2009, proving agents knowingly allowed the suspicious gun sale, months before the weapon turned up at the crime scene.

well welll well…….isn’t this wonderful//

ted c on July 1, 2011 at 10:08 AM

The administration should be named as a co-defendant in every one of these cases.

db on July 1, 2011 at 10:02 AM

How many people died as a result of the Watergate break-in?

Obama really Lied, People really Died.

Chip on July 1, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Just think if this was under the Bush administration!

SPGuy on July 1, 2011 at 10:13 AM

(We need to use the bumpersticker I saw Wednesday as our war cry.)

tree hugging sister on July 1, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Anyone who thinks this wasn’t approved at a very high level of the DOJ or higher is kidding themselves. They are in full damage control and have Cummings trying to foil Issa’s investigation to cover their asses. Holder should go straight to jail.

MJZZZ on July 1, 2011 at 10:14 AM

The msm would be SCREAMING for impeachment hearings.

*If.*

artist on July 1, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Thank you President Dick.

jdkchem on July 1, 2011 at 10:19 AM

House Dems Set to Demonize Gun Owners with Gunwalker Forum

The Committee on House Oversight and Government Reform will be having a forum today on the “Gunwalker” scandal almost guaranteed to fill any observer with disgust. It will be a markedly different than the previous hearings on the scandal chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa.

The ATF’s parent agency, the Department of Justice (DOJ); the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) were all directly involved in the operation, which could not even have occurred without State Department approval.

Interesting point: Given who’s involved, responsibility for this crime goes to the top of the executive branch on our government.

NMRN123 on July 1, 2011 at 10:24 AM

I hope they have evidence that ties this to Holder or higher. No one can reasonably think Holder or Obama didn’t know what was going on.

This can destroy Obama.

darwin on July 1, 2011 at 10:26 AM

The Hill 06/15/11:

Agents worried ATF program connected with Loughner gun

NMRN123 on July 1, 2011 at 10:28 AM

So… when does Holder and his corrupt Justice dept. get charged for murder, aiding & abetting, and conspiracy to commit, under RICO statutes?

Just wondering.

locomotivebreath1901 on July 1, 2011 at 10:29 AM

“If Americans think that the ATF’s gunrunning fiasco will only impact Mexico, think again”

anybody that dumb needs to be sterilized

eff the commie monkeys destroying our home!

Sonosam on July 1, 2011 at 10:30 AM

These kinds of reports were what Fast and Furious was designed to generate. Had the operation remained secret as it was supposed to, these reports would be used as evidence for tighter gun restrictions such as denying imports that was deemed to have no “sporting value” such as tactical shotguns.
Similar to the lame crap Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md) tried to pull yesterday.
This was a cynical, deadly plot to limit the Second Amendment, NOT to stop Mexican cartel kingpins. It is criminal on many levels and has Holder AND Obama and crew written all over it.

cartooner on July 1, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Obongos America

we kill Americans

Sonosam on July 1, 2011 at 10:35 AM

At the cross roads we are…
We either have accountability for all or we have lost the greatest creation for human freedom our world has ever seen.

Keemo on July 1, 2011 at 10:36 AM

Attorney General Holder was unavailable for comment. He had a golfing date.

Priorities.

GarandFan on July 1, 2011 at 10:38 AM

This is Chicago politics; this is how they run. Chicago politics has taken over D.C. and must be stopped in a similar fashion as our answer to the 9/11 attack on our homeland. Heads must roll and the guilty must be locked up and held accountable.

Keemo on July 1, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Gotta be a good campaign add in this story

who do you think would use it?

Sonosam on July 1, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Let us pray that the noose continues to tighten around the necks of this administration, that Americans wake up and pay attention to what these thugs are really trying to accomplish, and that our Congress gets some stones to deal with it.

HomeoftheBrave on July 1, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Tru dat artist

+1 jdk

cmsinaz on July 1, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Tip of the ‘Gunwalker’ iceberg? Are there MORE ‘Operations Fast and Furious’?

Kurt Hofmann St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner
June 17, 2011

During Wednesday’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing exploring the tragic, utterly unforgivable tragedies of “Project Gunwalker,” it would have been easy to miss one short statement from one of the witnesses. This would be a mistake, because what Special Agent John Dodson of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) said in that one sentence could have some pretty dramatic implications.

Lankford: Special Agent Dodson, let me ask you a series of questions, and this will be for several agents. Give me your best guess, and it’s going to be just a guess on this. How many weapons do we have in the United States or in Mexico, that are out there, that are a result of “Fast and Furious,” that we do not know where they are?

Dodson: Well sir, my best guess estimate at that, and remembering that Fast and Furious was one case, from one group, in one field division.

Operation Fast and Furious, remember, was a Phoenix field division operation. Houston has its own field division. Any “gunwalking” in Houston would be a separate operation.

In fact, as we also discussed in the March article, this kind of activity has not been limited to the southwest. Delia’s Gun Shop, in Philadelphia, in the face of protests organized by an anti-gun group, revealed its own arrangement with the BATFE along such lines.

And come to think of it, if the motive behind the Obama administration’s “gunwalking” is to build public support for more restrictive gun regulation, why would it be restricted to guns most likely to go to Mexico? “Crime guns” right here in the U.S., and the splashy, lurid headlines they generate, can be (and routinely are) exploited for the forcible citizen disarmament lobby’s purposes, even better than those south of the border.

Is “Operation Fast and Furious” merely the tip of the “Project Gunwalker” iceberg? Seems a fair question.

NMRN123 on July 1, 2011 at 10:49 AM

This whole situation is not helped by a Democrat Congressman that lives in one of the districts that is most affected by what goes on at the border, kowtowing to the lies that our officials involved in the gunrunning tell him.
Meet Congressman Sylvestre Reyes, Nancy Pelosi’s lapdog, doing what he does best, lying to his constituents. It is especially egregious when he sees to it that their lies are knowingly quoted in the press, so that the uninformed public thinks that “yes, this is all because we just have too many guns, & we have to control them”.
http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_18385482

Susanboo on July 1, 2011 at 10:53 AM

This can destroy Obama.

darwin on July 1, 2011 at 10:26 AM

Only if the media does their job. Any bets?

Extrafishy on July 1, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Obama should be impeached and thrown in prison for the rest of his pathetic life for this alone. They can throw Holder in there too to keep him company.

jawkneemusic on July 1, 2011 at 10:56 AM

I suspect that far more of Holder’s guns are linked to US crimes, and have not been found out only because no one is looking. It’s outrageous that ABC has to find this out, rather than our own government telling us.

I suspect that not only is the FBI not crossing crime guns against the database, but is actively covering up links by ordering that no cross be performed. Perhaps with this latest news, state and local law enforcement will begin making their own checks.

This also points out the need for further testimony in Congress from Napolitano and the FBI.

slickwillie2001 on July 1, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Obongo

killer of Americans

he really needs to be sent to some banana republic where he can practice his dictator skills with no loss to us

take chewbaca with you and your budding jihadis

Sonosam on July 1, 2011 at 11:00 AM

This story has legs, but they’re not running yet. Until the media feels it necessary to cover this (never), it’ll be hard to involve the public.

darwin on July 1, 2011 at 11:03 AM

These kinds of reports were what Fast and Furious was designed to generate. Had the operation remained secret as it was supposed to, these reports would be used as evidence for tighter gun restrictions such as denying imports that was deemed to have no “sporting value” such as tactical shotguns.
Similar to the lame crap Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md) tried to pull yesterday.
This was a cynical, deadly plot to limit the Second Amendment, NOT to stop Mexican cartel kingpins. It is criminal on many levels and has Holder AND Obama and crew written all over it.

cartooner on July 1, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Yep. To make it really simple for Gwen Ifill or the folks in Rio Linda, the federal government stopped enforcing existing gun laws in order to make the people think we need more gun laws.

slickwillie2001 on July 1, 2011 at 11:04 AM

This can destroy Obama.

darwin on July 1, 2011 at 10:26 AM

Only if the media does their job. Any bets?

Extrafishy on July 1, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Try this experiment: call a MSM news outlet and tip them that the Bush administration implemented a program to allow thousands of guns to ‘Walk’ in order to bolster the patriot act or something and it resulted in deaths on both sides of the border.

Wait for the fast a furious reaction and then tell them it was the Obam’ster that did this and see what happens.

Colbyjack on July 1, 2011 at 11:06 AM

What? There are illegals here in Phoenix?

Well at least they are coming with their own weapons now and not stealing others or buying them here and driving up prices.

Gosh, President Barry, that’s really swell of you.

Could you also provide them with all ready stolen cars? It will make them driving DUI and running over citizens more efficent.

TiminPhx on July 1, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Where are the protests?!?
Where are the throngs of people demanding Eric Holders head on a plate?!?!

Why are we just a bunch of damn sheep?????!!!!

KMC1 on July 1, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Somebody needs to ask the media why they aren’t using at least as much ink on the “guns to Mexico” story as they did on the Iran/contra events…

Hold them to their own standards.

cs89 on July 1, 2011 at 11:23 AM

The media cannot commit “doubl-jeopardy” on this. Since they are already complicit in the cover up. Theyre doing what any state run media would do: give cover to their bosses.

HomeoftheBrave on July 1, 2011 at 11:30 AM

A little more background:

GUNRUNNER: The ‘blame Bush’ option is out

Dave Workman, Seattle Gun Rights Examiner April 28, 2011

One thing is clear from documents and interviews: This strategy only goes back to 2009, after the Obama administration took charge

ATF insiders being interviewed in Arizona are among those who told CBS News that their own agency employed a controversial strategy beginning in late 2009 called “letting guns walk,” to try to gather intelligence.—CBS News

NMRN123 on July 1, 2011 at 11:31 AM

The RNC or something or other needs to create an ad about this with Obama’s words about finding a way to sneak gun control legislation in under the radar.

Then HAMMER HIM ON IT.

Ryan Anthony on July 1, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Remember how the libs want to sue gun manufacturers for criminals stealing legally sold guns and then using them in crimes?

What about holding Holder and Obama liable for failing to supervise these azz clowns? Criminally and Civilly.

barnone on July 1, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Can I sue all these loser libtards for trying to deprive me of my 2nd Amendament right to bear arms to protect myself from them and their thug cronies?

HomeoftheBrave on July 1, 2011 at 11:46 AM

‘tragically botched operation’…this is a metaphor for the O regime. The F&F sounds just like it came out of H’wood. They even used a cute movie name. Who is running this show?

Kissmygrits on July 1, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Ryan Anthony on July 1, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Better to try to get Holder first. The WH has spent 6 months stalling Issa so one would assume that any links to Obama have been scrubbed.

gh on July 1, 2011 at 11:47 AM

One hundred per cent predictable. I know several of us have commented on this very problem before.

It is nearly impossible to imagine what goes on in a mind so stupid or a heart so corrupt that someone could justify giving thousand of guns to known violent criminals. We will be paying a terrible price for this madness for years to come.

The only good that might come out of this bloody disaster is a real housecleaning at BATFE, DOJ, and Homeland Security. I have high hope tha Lanny Breuer will finally get the prosecution he has long deserved, and that Holder will at least be forced out. I would gladly tolerate all of those jackasses for 18 months longer if we could only undo what they have done. But we can’t unmake the omelette.

novaculus on July 1, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Awesome reporting by this station.

Puts the national boot lickers to shame.

PattyJ on July 1, 2011 at 11:56 AM

One thing is clear from documents and interviews: This strategy only goes back to 2009, after the Obama administration took charge.
NMRN123 on July 1, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Which rather tends to make one think that this ‘operation’ (plan, plot, scheme, scam) was worked out well in advance by obama and holder.
An operation like this doesn’t just “pop up” overnight and get implemented immediately.
The plan – and it’s consequences and ramifications – were worked out long before the installation of teh won.

Solaratov on July 1, 2011 at 11:59 AM

So I’m wondering, like, what would happen if some average Joe got got caught by the ATF sending guns down into Mexico and selling them to crime lords and drug dealers. And then, say, one of the guns he sold ended up killing a border agent or two and ended up being used in other crimes in the US.

I guess probably all that would happen to them is they’d have to resign from whatever day job they had and then, I guess, they could just go and get another job or something. Yeah, I guess that is all that would happen to them.

JellyToast on July 1, 2011 at 12:07 PM

How many more cities will be paying the price for this tragically botched operation?

The cities are anti-gun and Obama supporters, karma’s a bitch.

jnelchef on July 1, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Is “Operation Fast and Furious” merely the tip of the “Project Gunwalker” iceberg? Seems a fair question.

NMRN123 on July 1, 2011 at 10:49 AM

THIS.

Solaratov on July 1, 2011 at 11:59 AM

The project was dreamed up in late 2009, apparently during a big pow-wow of senior federal Law enforcement officials. They are relying on a 20 years-old reg that says agents don’t have to stop illegal transactions immediately. This rule, which clearly anticipates the seizure of the weapons before they are used by criminals, has been distorted beyond recognition to justify letting guns walk, period.

Check out the congressional report. Good background info:

http://oversight.house.gov/images/stories/Reports/ATF_Report.pdf

novaculus on July 1, 2011 at 12:28 PM

The administration should be named as a co-defendant co-conspirator in every one of these cases.

db on July 1, 2011 at 10:02 AM

FIFY.

Squiggy on July 1, 2011 at 12:30 PM

More background:

When the “fall guy” won’t “fall”: Melson will testify before Senate “Fast and Furious” Committee

And in return for this little fringe benefit, Melson had only to manage the ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious. And that was quite simple. Just place a few thousand guns in criminal hands, ensure their safe conduct across the Mexican border and keep track of the body count as the weapons appeared at crime scenes throughout two countries.

The purpose: keep Obama’s gun-grabbing base happy by manufacturing an outcry for more restrictive gun legislation in the U.S.

And as Melson doggedly refuses to become Obama’s latest bit of bus fodder, the President and his DOJ lackey Eric Holder must be more than a little concerned to learn that Melson will testify later this month before Ranking Member Charles Grassley’s Senate Judiciary Committee. The subject, of course, will be the ATF and its Operation Fast and Furious. Who was in charge; who authorized it and WHY; did it enjoy White House approval and a host of other questions will be asked of Melson and, if answered truthfully, could force resignations from DOJ flack Lanny Breuer to A.G. Eric Holder.

Watergate consisted of stupid behavior. Fast and Furious is responsible for deaths and is criminal behavior. If the former resulted in the fall of a president, what magnitude of political or criminal fallout can we expect from the latter?

NMRN123 on July 1, 2011 at 12:51 PM

This was a cynical, deadly plot to limit the Second Amendment, NOT to stop Mexican cartel kingpins. It is criminal on many levels and has Holder AND Obama and crew written all over it.

cartooner on July 1, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Yep.

Is “Operation Fast and Furious” merely the tip of the “Project Gunwalker” iceberg? Seems a fair question.

NMRN123 on July 1, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Our guys just can’t let this one die. It’s likely curtains for Holder, and maybe Øbama too. Gotta blow it over the heads of MSM somehow.

petefrt on July 1, 2011 at 1:10 PM

How many more cities will be paying the price for this tragically botched operation?

That depends on your point of view. If you’re looking at it from the viewpoint of the Administration, the “tragically botched” portion of it was that it was discovered.

I am of the belief that the intent all along was not to increase enforcement but increase violence (remember the “break eggs to make an omelet” comment from a BATFE official?) so as to give a basis to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens.

Same goes for the economy. BHO’s policies look completely reasonable if you accept that the intent is to destroy.

allanbourdius on July 1, 2011 at 1:20 PM

The ATF’s parent agency, the Department of Justice (DOJ); the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) were all directly involved in the operation, which could not even have occurred without State Department approval.

I bet Hillary gets thrown under the bus before Holder.

agmartin on July 1, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Obama’s administration gave weapons to the Mexican drug cartels. Is there anyone, in the USA, Mexico, or the world, who will look favorably on this? Yes. The drug cartels (but not the government of Mexico). The terrorists, who want the USA to be humiliated, weakened, and placed in disrepute. The hard political Left, which wants the authority of constitutional government to be undermined. The anti-gun forces, who want an excuse for disarming citizens.

We need to pound on this point: Obama’s ATF gave automatic weapons to the Mexican drug cartels, the Mexican Mafia. What kind of foreign policy is that? What kind of anti-crime policy is that? What was the Administration thinking? What are the Administration’s priorities? What kind of judgement does the Administration show it has?

njcommuter on July 1, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Obama’s ATF gave automatic weapons to the Mexican drug cartels, the Mexican Mafia.

I’m not aware of any claims that they let Class III (full-auto) weapons walk. They did let a bunch of AKSs (AKS = generic term for semi-auto civilian version of the full-auto AK-47) and some .50 BMG Barret rifles walk. It’s bad enough.

novaculus on July 1, 2011 at 3:02 PM

I don’t think even the in-the-tank press can keep a lid on this one. This has explosive potential.

Pablo Snooze on July 1, 2011 at 4:21 PM

I want to know why there aren’t any protests planned over this???!!

Where the he’ll is the American People???!!? WE need to DEMAND accountability for this crime!!! And I DON’T mean Holder having to collect unemployment for a few months before his next Cabinet appointment!!!

KMC1 on July 1, 2011 at 6:20 PM

Ruby Ridge, Wacco Tx, “Fast and Furious” and many other ATF and DOJ operations all have one common point Eric Holder.

I’m so sorry for this next statemet but some one needs to ask it. Is it true that no Afro-Americans were harmed in the conduct of these operations?

I have over 60 years of fire arms experience. There are many things that the ATF could have and should have done if they truely intended to track the sales. The ATF chose not to.

Routinly A fired round and a spent casing is kept for future identification. The ATF choose not to.

The data could have been made available to all policeing agencies for the gathering of intel. The ATF choose not to.

This leads me to the only logical conclusion. “They never intended to track the weapons” only to “Get them in the hands of criminals” to kill and murder.

Those involved in any, even minor ways, need to be reminded that they all can be facing prosecution for capital offenses.

All, even on minor levels, need to keep in mind, “He who flips first goes free. He who flips last hangs.”

Last point, the numbers of gun deaths don’t seem to justify the concerns. This country isn’t even in the top 10 world wide. The highest risk group and area are “Black Males in Washington DC”, But you still have a 3 times higher risk of dieing of type 2 diebeties in Delaware.

jpcpt03 on July 1, 2011 at 6:26 PM

And the plot having been exposed, they continue with it anyway, hoping the MBM can keep *enough* people ignorant of the fact to get away with it.

The arrogance is staggering.

They need to go down by the hundreds, the left needs a shock to its system to let it know that plotting, conspiring and lying have a price.

Merovign on July 1, 2011 at 7:04 PM