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Emails Show D.C. Officials Knew Of Border Gun Running Program

Slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
U.S. Border Patrol.
handout | agency
Brian Terry

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Emails Show D.C. Officials Knew Of Border Gun Running Program

Emails Show D.C. Officials Knew Of Border Gun Running Program

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Republican lawmakers have released new documents showing that high level officials at the Department of Justice in Washington D.C. - under the Obama Administration - were aware that federal agents in Arizona were allowing guns to be walked into Mexico. It’s part of a congressional investigation into the gun-walking case known as Operation Fast and Furious.

It’s something that high-level officials in the Obama Administration have denied from the start. And it’s something Republican lawmakers have tried to uncover for nearly a year: Exactly who knew that guns were being allowed into Mexico, helping fuel the cartel wars? And when did they know it?

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley has been leading an investigation into Operation Fast and Furious since Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was shot to death in Arizona.

Photo courtesy U.S. Border Patrol.

Slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

Terry was killed in a gunfight with border bandits, Dec. 14, 2010 near Nogales. Two guns from Fast and Furious were discovered at the scene of the crime.

So far, officials in Washington D.C. have said only officials in Phoenix knew that guns were being walked into Mexico.

But documents Grassley released show otherwise. They are comprised of hand-written memos and emails written between officials within the Department of Justice.

In one, a top deputy from the Attorney General’s Office, Jason Weinstein, wrote: “ ATF let a bunch of guns walk in effort to get upstream conspirators but only got straws and didn’t recover many guns.”

That email was written in April 2010.

The emails and assorted documents confirm what the Fronteras Desk revealed last week using federal court records: Long before the border agent was killed, officials from Washington were fully aware that guns were allowed to be trafficked into Mexico. The new emails demonstrate some of the 400 guns that were allowed to go across the border were also lost.

Fronteras Desk senior editor Michel Marizco is an award-winning investigative reporter based in Flagstaff.