“Project Gunrunner” (A.K.A Fast and Furious) was a project of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Fireworks where basically some “geniuses” high up in ATF (and possibly the DOJ) thought it would be a great idea to sell assault weapons to the violent Mexican drug cartels. Yes, that’s right, the US government decided–in order to fight the Mexican Drug Cartels, we should arm them and let them keep their weapons once they were used in committing crimes .
The House Oversight committee reported that some of these guns were used in crimes. For example, two of the approximately 2,000 guns that ATF let criminals walk away with were found at the murder scene of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010.
Now it seems that the cartels were not the only ones involved in the stupid operation. According to a Fox report at least two of these illegal gun purchases (360 total weapons) were made by felons whose records should have prevented them from buy even one weapon.
However, according to court records reviewed by Fox News, two of the 20 defendants indicted in the Fast and Furious investigation have felony convictions and criminal backgrounds that experts say, at the very least, should have delayed them buying a single firearm. Instead, the duo bought dozens of guns on multiple occasions while federal officials watched on closed-circuit cameras.
Congressional and law-enforcement sources say the situation suggests the FBI, which operates the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, knowingly allowed the purchases to go forward after consulting with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which initiated Operation Fast and Furious.
Under the failed anti-gun trafficking program, straw buyers — those who legally purchase guns and illegally sell them to a third party — were allowed to buy guns, many of which were sold to Mexican drug cartel members and subsequently lost. Related to the case, the U.S. government in May charged Manuel Osorio-Arellanes with killing Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry last year using a gun purchased through the program.
Court documents show the breakdown involves suspects Jacob Wayne Chambers, 21, and Sean Christopher Stewart, 28, both of Phoenix. Police arrested Chambers for felony burglary and trafficking stolen property in 2008, a year before he began buying more than 70 guns that ended up in the hands of the Sinaloa cartel. Stewart pled guilty to resisting arrest and criminal damage in 2001 and was arrested on drug charges in 2010. He was also charged with violating an order of protection and a local municipal court issued a warrant for his arrest. Stewart purchased 290 weapons.
“You cannot sanction the violation of federal law by enabling or co-enabling prohibited persons, which includes felony convictions, from purchasing firearms,” said Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., a former federal prosecutor and a member of the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee, which is investigating the botched ATF operation. Gowdy said he would discuss the apparent violation with committee chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.
When asked for an explanation by Fox the FBI had no comment.
However, an ATF agent who worked on the Fast and Furious investigation, told Fox News that NICS officials called the ATF in Phoenix whenever their suspects tried to buy a gun. That conversation typically led to a green light for the buyers, when it should have stopped them.
The apparent corruption of the system concerns Gowdy. “It is unconscionable and goes beyond just being a terribly ill-conceived investigation to bordering, if not crossing, into criminal activity,” he said.
And when Congressman Issa’s investigation is done, it is almost assured that the criminal activity will have been authorized by high-ups in the Justice Department.
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