In a reveling investigation of "Project Gunrunner", a program that was suppose to cut off the flow of drugs crossing our southwestern board and to stem the flow of firearms into Mexico and with it an attempt to deprive the Mexican drug cartels of weapons by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), is turning out to be another debacle of the ATF.
With an effort to prop up and justify its collaboration with other US agencies and the Government of Mexico to expand the eTrace firearm tracing software system, the program backfire on the ATF in 2010, when then Customs and Border Protection Agent Brian Terry was murdered. ATF allegedly permitted and facilitating numbers of 'straw purchases' of firearm sales to traffickers, to nail these smugglers and gather intel through gun shop owners/operators working in cooperation with the ATF program.
Senator Charles E. Grassley (IA) began an investigation with a letter to ATF on January 27 2011 and again on January 31 2011. In the responds from ATF, through the Department of Justice denyed all allegations.
Senator Grassley responded with specific documentation supporting the allegations in letters to U.S. Attorney General Holder on Feb 9 2011 and Feb 16 2011. ATF refused to answer specific questions in a formal briefing to Senator Grassley.
Indictments filed in federal court, documentation obtained by Senator Grassley, and statements of ATF agents obtained by Senator Grassley and CBS News, show that the ATF Phoenix Field Division allegedly allowed and facilitated the sale of over 2,500 firearms (AK-47 rifles, FN 5.7mm pistols, AK-47 pistols, and .50 caliber rifles) in 'straw man purchases' likely destined for Mexico.
According to some ATF agents, Mexican officials were not notified, and ATF agents operating in Mexico were instructed not to alert Mexican authorities about the operation.
Some ATF agents and supervisors strongly objected, and gun dealers, with in cooperating with ATF, protested the sales, but were asked by ATF to complete the transactions in order to elucidate the supply chain and gather intelligence.
Moreover, there are acusations that the ATF was attempting to boost statistics to 'prove' that American guns are arming the Mexican drug cartels and to further budget and power objectives and to give reason to expand the US governments control of arms in America.
Many of these same guns have now been recovered throughout Mexico, which has artificially inflating ATF's eTrace statistics of U.S. origin guns seized in Mexico. One specific gun, recovered at the scene, is the weapon used to murder Agent Brian Terry