Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Fast, Furious gun-walking not standard

Washington --

Justice Department and ATF officials have described the controversial gun-walking tactics used in Operation Fast and Furious as an aberration, but ATF agents have employed variations of the same surveillance techniques for decades.

ATF has long targeted gun traffickers through a combination of tailing, wiretaps and "controlled delivery" - following a contraband trail to the point where agents can catch a criminal organization's masterminds in the act, often with the help of an inside informant.

"Once the criminal takes receipt, ATF generally swoops in and locks up everybody," said Michael Bouchard, former operations director for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. "That's a part of doing undercover work. It happens all the time."

Straw purchasers

What doesn't happen all the time, current ATF officials insist, is gun-walking - Phoenix-based agents instructed to observe Mexico-bound gun purchases rather than interdict them.


Asked during a congressional hearing last year how ATF planned to arrest Mexican cartel kingpins implicated in such crimes, Newell responded that agents would simply inform Mexican authorities and nothing more.

More Here

Note:  The Obama administration did not trust the Mexican authorities enough to inform them what was happening, but they trusted them to take some additional action after they were told that they guns found at crime scenes were obtained illegally?

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