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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Holder pressed on source of guns from 2011 killing

    By Jerry Seper
    The Washington Times
    Tuesday, October 2, 2012

    Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, wants the Justice Department to release information on gunrunning operations in Texas and the source of guns in the 2011 killing of a U.S. agent. (Associated Press)

    A senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee called on Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Tuesday to immediately make public any information the Justice Department has on the existence of federal gunrunning operations in Texas and to reveal the source of weapons found at the February 2011 murder scene of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agent Jaime Zapata.

    Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, said in a letter to Mr. Holder that more than 19 months had passed since the veteran federal drug agent was gunned down during an ambush in Mexico and “his family deserves answers, not more stonewalling.”

    Mr. Cornyn first asked the attorney general for information on the Zapata killing more than a year ago and received what he described as “a cursory response,” which said only that a review of the senator’s concerns was under way and he would be notified of its findings “as soon as possible.”

    “Eleven months have passed since I received this response, and your department has failed to answer my questions,” he said in the letter. “This is unacceptable.”

    Mr. Cornyn, in response to the congressional investigation into the Fast and Furious gunrunning operation, has pressed Justice to explain whether operations also took place in Texas.

    He said the department’s reluctance to address allegations of additional gunrunning schemes in his state had raised serious questions, adding that similar efforts by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had significant “spillover effects” in Texas.

    In two separate incidents in January and April 2010, he said 60 rifles that were “walked” during the Fast and Furious operation were recovered from criminals in El Paso, Texas.

    Mr. Cornyn also noted that the attorney for a Houston gun dealer said ATF agents directed clerks to sell multiple firearms to suspicious buyers between 2006 and 2010, even when the clerks had grave concerns about the sales. He said store officials have said that ATF agents did not always show up to interdict the weapons they directed the clerks to sell.

    Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler referred inquiries to the department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG), which declined to comment.

    The OIG’s office, however, acknowledged last week it was reviewing a letter from Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, that asked for an investigation of the Zapata killing.

    The Cornyn letter comes in the wake of the fatal shooting Tuesday of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Nicholas Ivie, 30, in Arizona near the U.S.-Mexico border, the first such death since December 2010 when Agent Brian A. Terry was killed in a shootout north of Nogales, Ariz. Two Fast and Furious weapons were found at the scene of the Terry shooting.

    Mr. Cornyn’s concerns have focused on whether weapons purchased during a gunrunning investigation in Texas were responsible for the Feb. 15, 2011, Zapata killing. One of the weapons used in that slaying was purchased in Texas on Oct. 10, 2010, and later traced to a Texas-based firearms smuggling ring managed by Ranferi Osorio and Kelvin Morrison.

    Zapata was killed and his partner, Victor Avila, was wounded twice in the leg in an ambush on a major highway near San Luis Potosi, about 250 miles north of Mexico City. The agents, assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, were returning to their office after a meeting with other U.S. personnel in San Luis Potosi. Neither was armed, as Mexico does not allow U.S. law enforcement personnel to carry weapons.

    “As it stands, various sources, including sworn testimony and court documents, indicate that ATF not only allowed firearms to cross from Texas into Mexico but also asked Texas gun store owners to transfer weapons to suspected drug cartel agents,” Mr. Cornyn said in the letter.

    Osorio and Morrison pleaded guilty in November 2011 to various firearms offenses. Osorio was sentenced in February to 120 months in prison and Morrison to 30 months.

    Holder pressed on source of guns from 2011 killing - Washington Times
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie
    Friday, June 15, 2012

    Sipsey Street Exclusive: Investigators discover I.C.E. Report of Investigation on seizure of Fast & Furious weapons in Texas in August 2010 SIGNED BY JAIME ZAPATA!

    Texas Congressman Michael McCaul grills Janet Napolitano, 15 February 2012.
    Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.): “Madam secretary, there’s been some speculation that the weapons used to kill Agent Zapata may have been possibly linked to Fast and Furious. Do you have any information to indicate there is a connection there?”

    Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano: “I have no information to that effect, no. I don’t know one way or the other.” -- Hearing before the House Homeland Security Committee, 15 February 2012.

    Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Jaime Zapata and the scene of his ambush murder.
    Congressional investigators permitted to view Department of Homeland Security documents related to the Fast and Furious operation have located and seen an Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) Report of Investigation (ROI) from August 2010 describing 80 weapons seized in an arms smuggling interdiction between Phoenix, Arizona and San Antonio, Texas.

    Of these weapons, the majority (approximately 50) were noted to have come from Operation Fast & Furious in Arizona, purchased by Uriel Patino and Jacob Chambers. The ROI was written and signed by Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Jaime Zapata, who was shot dead in an ambush at a fake roadblock in San Luis Potosí, Mexico on 15 February 2011. At the time of the report, Agent Zapata was assigned to the Laredo office.
    Two of the weapons found at the murder scene were later traced back to Texas -- One was purchased in August 2010 near Houston on behalf of accused drug dealer Manuel Gomez Barba, and the other in October 2010 by a Dallas trafficking ring that included Otilio Osorio and his brother Ranferi. Much like Fast and Furious, both groups had been under ATF surveillance for many months, although ATF officials in Texas later denied that any gunwalking happened in their state. United State Senator John Cornyn has pressed Eric Holder and DOJ for details on any gunwalking in Texas. So far, he has been met with denials or silence.
    The Department of Homeland Security, ICE and the Department of Justice have long denied that the case of Jaime Zapata had anything to do with Fast and Furious. The discovery of this ROI by Zapata, "puts the lie to that (expletives deleted) by Napolitano and Holder," according on source who spoke with this reporter on conditions of absolute anonymity.
    Multiple sources including current and former employees of the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security have confirmed this explosive new revelation in the Fast & Furious investigation. Said one source, "I think (DHS) is covering up something big." He added, "I feel betrayed."
    At the time of Agent Zapata's death, President Obama declared "The United States will work with Mexico to bring the assailants to justice." For her part, Janet Napolitano avowed: "Let me be clear: Any act of violence against our ICE personnel — or any DHS personnel — is an attack against all those who serve our nation and put their lives at risk for our safety."
    One source indicated his frustration that neither DHS nor the FBI have come under scrutiny for what they know about gunwalking operations and the murders of Agent Zapata and Border Patrol BORTAC Team member Brian Terry.
    Said another, "DHS walked away and pretended that this was Holder's problem," adding "If they didn't know, they should have known."
    The revelation of the existence of Agent Zapata's August 2010 ROI should serve to bring more scrutiny to Janet Napolitano and her knowledge of gunwalking and the murders of Zapata and Terry, despite her previous denials under oath.
    According to sources, both DHS and DOJ are "in a deep panic" that "their carefully contrived cover-up is breaking down," in the words of one.
    Early morning inquiries to the offices of Congressman McCaul and Senator Cornyn for comment have not, as yet, been answered. This is not their fault, as I have had to push up the post time for this article out of concern for being scooped by other news organizations which I know are cognizant of this story. Their comments will form the basis of a follow-up story.

    (Reporter's note: This may be the most important story I've written this year, and once again I ask my readers to help me get the truth out around the roadblock of the dinosaur media. If you believe that this story is as important as I do, please forward it to your Senators and Congressmen, demanding that they widen the investigations of Obama administration gunwalking to Janet Napolitano and the Department of Homeland Security.)

    “We are at a critical juncture here,” (Vanderboegh) tells Gun Rights Examiner. “You need to let your readers know that, and ask them to once again call their congressmen, especially if they’re on the [House Oversight and Government Reform] Committee, to beat them up and make them aware there will be a political price for not voting for contempt.”

    “The next few days are where we’ve got to pull out all the stops,” he adds. “Hit everybody up, including the press. I don’t care how many times--if they’re in a position to influence things, just keep beating on the subject until they’re sick of hearing about it.”

    Sipsey Street Irregulars: Sipsey Street Exclusive: Investigators discover I.C.E. Report of Investigation on seizure of Fast & Furious weapons in Texas in August 2010 SIGNED BY JAIME ZAPATA!

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