Monday, March 14, 2011

New Mexico Mayor, Police Chief, City Councilman Arrested For Gunrunning To Cartels

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There are the “Gunwalkers” at ATF, and then there are the real Gunrunners. In addition to turning a knowingly blind eye to gun smuggling, some New Mexico City officials are alleged to be willing participants in gunrunning for profit for them. Eddie Espinoza, Mayor of Columbus, New Mexico, its Police Chief, Angelo Vega, who had just come off administrative leave for alleged wrongdoing, and Blas Guiterrez, a city councilman, have been arrested for suspected gunrunning across the border from this town. They were among eleven arrested under an 84 count indictment.  The town’s last claim to fame was that it was where Poncho Villa entered the United States when he made a raid there.

Police found and seized 40 AK-47rifles, over 1,500 rounds of ammunition and 30 high-capacity magazines from those suspects before they crossed the border. At least 12 firearms have already been located in Mexico were traced back to them. What in the world makes people like this think that firearms they send over won't be used against law makers and law enforcement such as themselves? Or, does it matter?

The Bradys, Violence Policy Center, and Ceasefire have been yelling to the rooftops that gun dealers have been indiscriminately letting guns go across the border into Mexico. This has become their latest cause. But, instead of expressing outrage over the ATF “Gunwalker” scandal, the  "Brady Campaign is Outraged Over House Vote To Kill Funds To Curb Illegal Gun Trafficking" according to their recent press release. They are also touting Obama’s anti gun editorial letter published this weekend in a Tucson newspaper.  

As much as these groups have pounded on illegal “straw man” sales of firearms, they have been as equally silent about the “Gunwalker” ATF scandal, where ATF allowed thousands of firearms across the border to “trace” them. Unsuspecting gun dealers who tried to cooperate with ATF have been smeared by ATF’s actions, and now, one group of New Mexico officials have been arrested for gun smuggling.

As far as dealers are concerned, many gun dealers tip off ATF when they suspect "straw purchases," in which a person buys for someone who is prohibited from owning a gun, a common practice in Mexican gun running cases. And that’s what happened recently at a big Arizona gun store. And, you’re going to read now that a small town New Mexico Mayor, Police Chief, and councilman have been indicted on over eighty counts of Gunrunning into Mexico for the cartels

But, before more on the city officials, here’s how one gun store was sucked into ATF wrongdoing. Someone came into nationally known retailer J&G Sales in Prescott, Arizona recently and plunked down enough cash to buy 40 WASR 10 AK47s.

The guys at J&G Sales called The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and told them that something was “fishy” with the sale, and that they suspected that it was a straw man sale.  But the FBI and ATF's tail wagging lackeys at NICS said, "Go ahead, Sell them." And, not only did the sale smell fishy, it stank. The ATF was in the midst of their “Project Gunrunner,” and was using the store as a patsy. But, this so called “Project Gunrunner” turned into “Gunwalker,” where the ATF was knowingly allowing firearms to be taken into Mexico to be used in drug crime there.

While ATF allowed at least 3,000 firearms to illicitly enter Mexico until a Federal Agent blew the whistle, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico had this to say about “Project Gunrunner.”

ATF is deploying its resources strategically on the Southwest Border to deny firearms, the “tools of the trade,” to criminal organizations in Mexico and along the border, and to combat firearms-related violence affecting communities on both sides of the border 
Firearm tracing intelligence is critical because it allows ATF and its partners to identify trafficking corridors, patterns and schemes as well as traffickers and their accomplices. Firearms tracing helps identify firearms straw purchasers, the traffickers, trafficking networks and patterns, thus allowing law enforcement to target and dismantle the infrastructure supplying firearms to the DTOs in Mexico.

What the hell is a gun shop supposed to do when they are told to “Go ahead, sell them,” by the government agency that approves the sales of guns at gun shops here? The Government was intent on their being sold and traced right to murder crime scenes.

It is known that a “Gunwalker” AK47  that the ATF intentionally "let walk" into Mexico killed Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and it was being traced by Gunrunner into Mexico. God knows how many others that these guns that “Walked” into Mexico will maim and kill in the hands of Mexican drug lord maniac gunmen as allowed by ATF.

ATF has ordered its local P.R. people to release to the press "positive" reports and news stories about ATF branch activities to counter the scandal. It hasn't worked so far. One good question is how high in government does this scandal go? Janet Napolitano of “Homeland Security” has recently disavowed knowledge of this wrongdoing at ATF. But, Just like anti gun groups have remained silent on “Gunwalker,” she has said nothing more in hopes that this will just blow over.

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