Possibly thousands of guns were sent to Mexico in a massive operation known as "Gunrunner." When Border Agent Brian Terry was killed, he was armed, unbelievably enough, with bean bags. Now OpiniPundit has a link to a CBS story that cites email messages from a high ranking ATF official urging other ATF offices to participate in arming Mexican drug lords and illegals.
I don’t know what all the issues are but we are all adults, we are all professionals, and we have a (sic) 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 bag is empty.The CBS story is here. Apparently as far back as April, 2010, a gun shop owner who was participating in the Operation Gunrunner project voiced his concerns to the ATF that these guns may be used against Border Patrol AGents, many of whom were his friends.
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…We need to get over this bump in the road once and for all and get on with the mission at hand. This can be the most fun you have with ATF, the only one limiting the amount of fun we have is you!—e-mail from David J. Voth, group supervisor, Phoenix Group VII.
Two months later, on June 17, 2010, the same gun shop owner again wrote ATF's Supervisor Voth again after he saw a Fox News report about firearms and the border. The gun shop owner called the report "disturbing" and stated "When you [Voth], [the Assistant U.S. Attorney], and I met on May 13th , I shared my concerns with you guys that I wanted to make sure that none of the firearms that were sold per our conversation with you and various ATF agents could or would ever end up south of the border or in the hands of the bad guys... I want to help ATF with its investigation but not at the risk of agents' safety because I have some very close friends that are U.S. Border Patrol Agents in southern AZ."
This was six months before Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was gunned down near the Arizona border. Two assault rifles that ATF had allegedly let "walk" were found at the scene.