Excelsior July 8, 2011
Houston and Tampa Source of Other Contraband, They Affirm
More Agents Assert that There Are More Like Fast and Furious
The Link from the Congress to the BATF Informants Could Get to the Crime of Another 3000 Guns
Sidebar: Fast and Furious was in Arizona; another like it whose name is still unknown, was directed from the Houston field office of the BATF. Mike Vanderboegh, activist
By Carmen Alvarez
Operation Fast and Furious which was operated from Phoenix, Arizona, is only a part of the scandal – there have been other similar operations run from Houston which allowed as many as 3,000 guns to walk.
“Both operations combined account for more than 5,000 guns that ended up in the hands of Mexican criminals,” Mike Vanderboegh told Excelsior who helped get whistleblowers of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) in touch with the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Fast and Furious was in Arizona; another operation whose name is still unknown was directed from the Field Division of BATF in Houston. Another one, (possibly) called Castaway, was operated from Tampa, Florida and let guns walk to Honduras which later ended up at crime scenes in Mexico and other countries,” he added by means of telephone from the south of the United States.
Vanderboegh, who together with his colleague David Codrea, made public the accusations of BATF agents regarding how their superiors required them to disobey their duty to intercept the guns that ended up in criminal hands in Mexico. He believes that this would not have been possible without authorization from the highest levels of the U.S. government.
“This whole affair demonstrates that Project 'Gunwalker' (Gunrunner) the antecedent of operations such as Fast and Furious and Castaway (Tampa) were part of a national strategy, and that the Field Division of the BATF in Houston incidents which occurred in Dallas and in Columbus, New Mexico, and not the Phoenix Division,” he added.
“Many people died because of the guns allowed to walk into Mexico because those who made these decisions about these operations decided to keep the Mexican government in the dark,” he said.
The affair came to light in the Texas press and in the Washington Post where it was revealed that 115 guns confiscated from the cartels did not come from Phoenix, Arizona as did the over 2000 guns from Fast and Furious, but from Texas. The publication myfoxhouston.com also carried the news.
“After that, a curtain of silence has come down in the United States,” added the citizen-journalist and activist who bumped into Project Gunwalker when he was pursuing another BATF scandal.
Dick Deguerin, the lawyer for the chain of gun stores, Carter’s Country in Houston, told Excelsior via telephone from Houston that this firm and some of his [other?] clients informed BATF of suspicious purchasers who obtained numerous assault rifles, 9mm revolvers (sic), and AK-47 rifles who paid cash, and the only thing that happened was that the authorities came back on the stores in order to blame them.
“What happened was that operations such as Fast and Furious failed miserably because the only thing they succeeded in doing was to lose the trail of the arms that were sold legally in the United States later taken to Mexico. It was a complete failure by the BATF,’ said Deguerin.
The lawyer explained that the BATF asked his client, the owner of Carter’s Country, that he cooperate by giving information to them about the operation of suspicious sales and that he continue selling guns to Hispanics who bought high-power guns and paid cash.
“My client cooperated, but BATF took all the information my client got and we never knew what they did with it,” he added.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Mexican newspaper Excelsior interviews me on the Phoenix, Tampa & Houston components of Project Gunwalker. Our guesstimate of walked firearms: 5000