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Old February 11, 2011, 08:15 PM   #1
Al Norris
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ATF Project Gunrunner

What started out, and looked to be, some kind of Tin-Foil Hattery, or maybe just plain malicious rumor, has once again reminded me that truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

David Codrea, the National Gun Rights Examiner, has the blow-by-blow account at, A journalist's guide to 'Project Gunwalker' (Davids word play on the ATF Project Gunrunner)

Now for those of you that are thinking, "Fry mah hide! Old Al has gone off his rocker an' is promotin' cornspiracy theo'ists," even David Workman (a Gun Rights examiner respected by Eugene Volokh), is talking about it. Seems the CCRKBA (a sister org to the SAF - Alan Gotlieb runs both) is now calling for a Senate investigation.

About 10 days ago, Senator Charles "Chuck" Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, began an inquiry into this. After being rebuffed by the DOJ (full denial and called the Senators' letter, "politicizing"), the Senator sent a letter to Eric Holder, which included enough documented evidence to support allegations that the ATF was implicit in allowing firearms to "walk" south...

Oh, it gets much much worse. It seems that two AK-47's (Wasser 10's) that were being tracked by the ATF literally from the moment they were purchased, ended up in the firefight with CBP Agent Brian Terry. Terry was killed in that incident last Dec. This (the firearms) is documented in Sen. Grassley's letter to Holder.

The ATF had documented well over 700 firearms, since 2009, that went south. In the days following Agent Terry's death, several culprits were rounded up, including the guy that originally bought the AK's. The DOJ has admitted that they have recovered about 100 of the firearms the ATF was "tracking." As Grassley asks Holder, where are the other 600+ firearms?

There's an old saw about poking wolverines with sticks... Senator Grassley's letter was enough to hand Holder his testicles.

It also appears that the attaché to Mexico City found out about these "rumors" and called the Special Agent in Charge, Bill Newell, of the Phoenix Bureau to verify and ask if the Mexican Government had been informed. He was asked to stand down. He didn't. Going over the SAC's head, the attaché spoke with Washington and was told again to stand down.

This attaché was removed from his position last Nov. and has (been forced to?) resigned (Dec. 31). Guess what? The Phoenix SAC is scheduled to take his place in May.

With everything else going on in the US today, don't we just need a real live International Incident with Mexico?








You mean to tell me you haven't heard a thing about this? [shakes head] You really think the MSM is going to report anything that might implicate Pres. Obama? Get Real!

At any rate, if you follow the first link, above, and start reading all the cross-links, you won't be posting in this thread for a day or so.... Heh Heh!
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Old February 17, 2011, 12:54 PM   #2
Bartholomew Roberts
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An update on Senator Grassley's investigation into this scandal can be found here:
http://www.examiner.com/gun-rights-i...tions-briefing

Apparently the ATF finally caved in and gave a briefing and then failed to answer any specific questions, effectively stonewalling on almost all of the issues Senator Grassley raised in his letter.

An interesting choice of tactics by DoJ.
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Old February 17, 2011, 12:58 PM   #3
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I thought that was interesting when I read it earlier this morning, Bart.

Did you catch the list of items and the order to supply the answers that he wants? This highly suggests that Sen. Grassley does indeed have inside information.
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Old February 17, 2011, 01:46 PM   #4
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Yes, I was thinking his questions had a prosecutorial tone to them. It sounds to me like Sen. Grassley has enough information to make an informed decision already and the questioning of the ATF is more about positioning for the next round of the investigation.

That is why I was kind of surprised ATF decided to try the old "send two guys who don't know anything to give him a general briefing and then he'll be happy" method of defense. They can't have imagined that was going to be productive in any sense other than to irritate the Senator and delay the process for a while longer.
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Old February 18, 2011, 05:47 PM   #5
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They can't have imagined that was going to be productive in any sense other than to irritate the Senator and delay the process for a while longer.
Those types of decisions aren't made at the agency level. They're made by the AG and the POTUS.
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Old February 24, 2011, 07:46 AM   #6
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It was all over CBS News last nite and this morning now that an Agent was killed with one of those "Walking Guns"!
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Old February 24, 2011, 10:07 AM   #7
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It's been a while coming. Let's see if this snowballs to the rest of the MSM.
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Old March 4, 2011, 08:28 AM   #8
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Looks like the snowball is starting to pick up speed, CBS News has continued its reporting on the issue and ATF agent John Dodson has come out publicly and started naming names and spelling out what was done:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/...eaturedPost-PE
http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?...n&tag=watchnow (video)

And in a related story, it seems the Agent Brian Terry who was killed by the Gunwalker AK47 was under standing orders to use less-lethal beanbag loads. They opened fire on the smugglers with beanbags, pursuant to a standing order, and the smugglers returned fire with real bullets.

BP first denied this as a "bizarre interest fueled rumor" but records have revealed that the BP did in fact issue such an order. Sounds like there is a mess on every side of this issue:

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner...mark-krikorian

Last edited by Bartholomew Roberts; March 4, 2011 at 08:49 AM.
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Old March 4, 2011, 07:34 PM   #9
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A link to the CBS news report this evening:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/...UpperPromoArea

It is about time for other networks, newspapers et al. to get off their . . . .
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Old March 4, 2011, 10:07 PM   #10
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My E-Mail to Senator Grassley:

Senator Grassley:

OK, let me get this straight: When border-state gun dealers report suspicious multiple purchases to ATF, they order the dealers to sell the guns anyway, then let them disappear into Mexico, in order to justify new regulations requiring dealers in border states to report multiple purchases, and to substantiate the administration's claims that most guns used in Mexico's drug wars come from the US. And now, the chickens have come home to roost, and a Border Patrol Agent lies dead, shot by one of the guns that ATF could have interdicted.

ATF's pandering to administration politics certainly seems complicit in the death of a Federal law enforcement officer. I urge you not to let them stonewall you, and to hold their feet to the fire for politicizing their investigation, thus jeopardizing lives on both sides of the border.
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Old March 4, 2011, 11:27 PM   #11
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ATF smarts

The ATF has never been known for being espically bright. As I said, when George The First banned the importation of assualt weapons, I could buy a slightly used full auto Uzi in El Dorado AR for less than a legal Uzi semi auto. No gangster in Mexico is going to buy a semi auto AK from the US when they can import the real deal from Columbia or buy it from the Mexican Military.
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Old March 5, 2011, 01:45 AM   #12
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When border-state gun dealers report suspicious multiple purchases to ATF, they order the dealers to sell the guns anyway, then let them disappear into Mexico, in order to justify new regulations requiring dealers in border states to report multiple purchases, and to substantiate the administration's claims that most guns used in Mexico's drug wars come from the US.
Yep, you've got the logic.

I had to do a routine trace last week, and once I pulled the records, I asked the agents for some context. They wouldn't go into detail, but it smelled like a straw purchase situation.

One of them asked me what I did if I suspected that someone was committing a straw buy. Well, I throw the bum out. If he's belligerent, I contact local law enforcement.

Apparently, that isn't what they want dealers doing. I was instructed to proceed with the transaction, then call the local office with the buyer's information.

Sorry, but that could potentially make me an accessory, and I won't be doing it. Still, the request was odd. Then I ran across the Avila indictment.

Take a look at it. That's a massive, ongoing, obvious criminal enterprise, and I doubt Lone Wolf would have let it go on if they hadn't been asked the same thing I was.

I'm a pretty big skeptic when it comes to Big Conspiracy Theories, but this all comes together in a very unsavory pattern that's hard to ignore.

I also notice that, as of tonight, the Christian Science Monitor and CNN have picked up on it.
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Old March 5, 2011, 11:01 AM   #13
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More over at CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/...20039031.shtml

A new letter from Grassley (to Holder) at Only Guns and Money: http://onlygunsandmoney.blogspot.com...older-and.html

Internal ATF memo and PR Spin: http://onlygunsandmoney.blogspot.com/2011/03/spin.html

LA Times chimes in: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...,2309966.story

It's starting to get out of control.
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Old March 5, 2011, 11:31 AM   #14
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Apparently, that isn't what they want dealers doing. I was instructed to proceed with the transaction, then call the local office with the buyer's information.

Sorry, but that could potentially make me an accessory
Exactly. Guns aren't drugs, or ordinary stolen property. As a retired military LEO, I can tell you that military regulations allowed for use of deadly force to prevent the theft of weapons. ATF is treating them like they're a dime bag of heroin.:barf:
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Old March 5, 2011, 10:38 PM   #15
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Main Stream Media

Project Gun Runner has finally hit main stream media big time. Google "AZ BATFE" ... 276 hits. Some very thorough reports based upon what has been publically disclosed.
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Last edited by lefteye; March 5, 2011 at 10:44 PM.
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Old March 6, 2011, 01:22 AM   #16
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As per the Avila indictment, over 600 AK-47 pattern rifles were acquired through a single dealer in a series of straw purchases, over a time span of 15 months. That number doesn't include numerous pistols.

The dealer was Lone Wolf Trading Company. According to a redacted ATF investigation report (Attachment 1), the Bureau was involved in a sting operation involving a series of straw purchases from Lone Wolf during that time period. Said straw purchases were done with the help of a "cooperating defendant."

I guess that's what they call them now.

In any case, that can't be a coincidence. This brings us to question #2: what was the ownership of Lone Wolf thinking, allowing as many as 40 rifles go out to the same guy in a single transaction?

I've seen some astoundingly people in my day, but I don't think the owner of Lone Wolf is one of them. At some point, he had to have involved the ATF. Nobody with an ounce of instinct for self-preservation would have kept quiet about something like that.

It stands to reason that he was cooperating with the Bureau, and under advice (or orders) to allow these purchases to take place.

So, where does this leave him? His reputation is ruined. He can claim (rightfully, I'm guessing) that he was cooperating in a law-enforcement operation, but the public will remember him as the guy "supplying the cartels." Brian Terry's blood isn't on his hands, but I'm sure he's hearing accusations to that effect at this very moment.

According to David Voth's letter prior to the straw buys:

Quote:
we have a exciting opportunity to use the biggest tool in our law enforcement tool box. If you don't think this is fun you're in the wrong line of work-period! This is the pinnacle of domestic U.S. law enforcement techniques. After this the tool box is empty. Maybe the
Maricopa County Jail is hiring detention officers and you can get paid $30,000 (instead of $100,000) to serve lunch to inmates all day.
I would hope that nobody's so callous as to assume that "fun" entails the death of one man and the ruin of another.
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Old March 7, 2011, 06:19 PM   #17
Bartholomew Roberts
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In a related, albeit old, story, check out this report on Carter's Country in Houston. They got buried in a Washington Post story stating that they were a major source of guns going to Mexico (Mexican authorities had recovered 115 firearms from their stores in the past two years). Note also that the #1 dealer of guns traced to Mexico happens to be the same gun store from the original Gunwalker scandal.

Yet according to their attorney, Dick Deguerin, Carter's Country was the one who notified the ATF of the suspicious sales from the start and they were told to go through with the sales for months and months.

What do you do when the same agency that regulates almost every aspect of your business asks you to allow sales forbidden by law and then the news starts using evidence of these illegalities to demand more gun control?
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Old March 7, 2011, 07:17 PM   #18
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I have noticed the reporting has slacked off by the main stream media. Think that would be the case if they were reporting on the gun shops? I don't think so.
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Old March 7, 2011, 08:19 PM   #19
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What do you do when the same agency that regulates almost every aspect of your business asks you to allow sales forbidden by law and then the news starts using evidence of these illegalities to demand more gun control?
Still want an FFL of your very own, folks?

I will not break the law. I don't care if it's a sting or not. I don't care if I have an agreement in writing from the ATF that I won't be prosecuted: it's not worth it.

In other news, it has come out that the weapon used to shoot and kill ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata in Monterrey came from a gun shop in Lancaster, TX. The original purchaser was known to the ATF [pdf] to be in the business of obliterating serial numbers from guns in preparation for their shipment to the Los Zetas.

As of this morning, the question was put directly to the White House press secretary, but he plead ignorance. This could be more damaging than Ruby Ridge.
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Old March 7, 2011, 09:03 PM   #20
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That affidavit for the arrest warrant is damning in what it doesn't say.

On Nov. 9, 2010, 40 firearms were "seized" by the ATF (Paragraph 8). Yet on Feb. 15, 2011, SA Jaime Zapata was murdered with one of those "seized" firearms (paragraph 9)....

OH boy!
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Old March 7, 2011, 09:31 PM   #21
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That affidavit for the arrest warrant is damning in what it doesn't say.

On Nov. 9, 2010, 40 firearms were "seized" by the ATF (Paragraph 8). Yet on Feb. 15, 2011, SA Jaime Zapata was murdered with one of those "seized" firearms (paragraph 9)....

OH boy!
I don't think this is an accurate reading of these paragraphs. Paragraph 8 refers to a number of firearms with obliterated serial numbers being seized including "12 Romarm 7.62 pistols, Model Draco C (oblieterated serial numbers)." Paragraph 9 refers to three firearms used in the assault of Zapata including a "Romarm-Cugir, model Draco, 7.62 pistol, with an obliterated serial number." There is no express or implied statement that this was one of the pistols seized earlier.
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Old March 8, 2011, 01:27 PM   #22
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Apparently the Mexican government is hearing about the Gunwalker allegations as well and officially requested information on the program yesterday. That is going to be an awkward diplomatic conversation.

So that is two federal agents murdered with Gunwalker firearms so far?
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Old March 8, 2011, 02:21 PM   #23
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So that is two federal agents murdered with Gunwalker firearms so far?
Zapata's partner was injured.

There's no telling how many Mexican lives have been taken with them.
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Old March 8, 2011, 02:40 PM   #24
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New here, but Tom Servo, you are voicing a number of my concerns as an FFL, specifically about allowing a crime to be committed with the approval of the ATF.

Frankly, for that to happen, after a sit down with me, and my attorney, whose fee's they would have to be paying, I figured I would need a document clarifying the fact they were insisting on it, and a letter from someone very high up, like the AG of the US himself, giving me blanket immunity for all actions involved.

As well as a nice fee for me, for taking the chance that these gun running criminals may not forget who it was that helped bufu their operations, WITH A MEXICAN DRUG CARTEL!

And that fee BETTER include a spot in the witness protection program, with income guaranteed for life, if needed.

Seriously, do they expect us dealers to be a part of law enforcement?
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Old March 8, 2011, 03:15 PM   #25
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Wow, I just read the entire 44 page indictment.

It answered one of my questions, and that was the Dealers profits on the sales, seem to average about 300 dollars per item, with the exception of the Barretts and 50 caliber belt fed semi's.

I wonder if they let lone wolf keep the money, or if it was all seized as evidence.

I can understand the desire for the AK's but, if I wonder about their infatuation with the 5.7 pistols, unless they have a source for factory armor piercing ammo, thats unavailable in the US through normal sources.

If nothing else, its an interesting look into the mind of the cartels, and their shooters.

And, I know this, the distributor who was selling the AK's to Lone Wolf, must have sent him one hell of a fruit basket at Christmas time.
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