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Recent news stories about guns in Arizona suggest that Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry may have been shot by a gun that was purchased at a Glendale gun shop, and smuggled into Mexico while the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (generally known as the ATF) watched.
Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa said in a letter provided Monday to The Associated Press he had received information that appears to partially corroborate the claim. "Members of the Judiciary Committee have received numerous allegations that the ATF sanctioned the sale of hundreds of assault weapons to suspected straw buyers, who then allegedly transported these weapons throughout the Southwest border area and into Mexico," reads a letter sent Thursday from Grassley to Kenneth Melson, acting director of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
the flow of weapons from the U.S. to Mexico has largely been ineffective because a lack of communication with other agencies and an inability to target “higher-level traffickers,” according to a report issued by the Justice Department’s Inspector General this week.
"We've got to hunt them down and put them in jail, whether they're drug traffickers, alien smugglers or, in this particular case, people who shoot and kill border patrol agents," said Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton.
I was asking very simple questions like: 1) Who are the suspects that have been arrested? 2) What are their nationalities and citizenship/immigration status? 3) What charges have been filed against the suspects? One would think these simple questions could be answered without jeopardizing a case. But perhaps there is more to this case than meets the eye.
"There are actually four separate but connected accusations against ATF officials:
First, that they intentionally arranged to have hundreds of firearms "walked" across the U.S. border into Mexico.
Second, that they instructed U.S. gun dealers to proceed with questionable and illegal sales of firearms to suspected gunrunners.
Third, that they intentionally withheld information about U.S.-sanctioned gun smuggling from the Mexican government.
Fourth, that one of the guns ATF allowed or helped to be smuggled into Mexico was involved in the death of Agent Terry."