From: Office of the Director
Sent: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 (Time Redacted, MBV)
To: All ATF General Exchange; All ATF Exchange
Subject: ***Action Required*** Document Production Order For Operation Fast and Furious
Your immediate action is required in response to this e-mail.
This e-mail assigns an additional task beyond that covered by May 11, 2011 preservation directive.
Failure to respond to this e-mail as required will result in follow up management action.
New Document Production Directive for Material
Responsive to Congressional Inquiries and Subpoena Concerning the Project Gunrunner Initiative and Operation Fast and Furious
On March 28, 2011, April 5, 2011, April 13, 2011, and May 11, 2011, preservation directives were issued for documents and Electronically Stored Information (ESI) related to Operation Fast and Furious and Project Gunrunner. These preservation directives were followed with instructions describing how to produce responsive records requested pursuant to a subpoena received by ATF from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. You do not need to produce everything covered by the preservation directives. Read this document carefully and produce only those items asked for.
In response to the aforementioned directives, you should have been asked by your supervisor if you had any responsive documents or records. Those directives required every ATF employee (including interns and detailees), Task Force Officer, or contractor to search for, preserve, and produce any and all documents responsive to those directives. This obligation applied to each person individually. Regardless of any prior production of responsive documents to any entity inside or outside of ATF, everyone was required to preserve and produce any responsive documents or records in accordance with the instructions previously issued. All documents were to have been produced in full.
Each ATF employee, Task Force Officer, and Contractor has a responsibility to execute a certification of compliance as set forth in section H of this directive on or before May 27, 2011. All supervisory personnel have an affirmative responsibility to ensure this production directive is adhered to. Please see section E for further instructions in this regard.
Due to related developments, I am issuing a new document production directive which expands on those directives.
A. The Duty to Produce Potentially Relevant Information
Because ATF, its employees, Task Force Officers, and contractors have an obligation to produce potentially relevant information, you personally must take appropriate steps to produce any such information that is in your possession, custody, or control. You must produce this information even if you know or believe others may also have and produce it.
“Potentially relevant information” includes anything that relates to the matters referenced in Part C below. The information below provides guidance on what needs to be produced and steps to take to comply with this production directive.
B. What Must Be Produced
The information that must be produced includes both hard copy and electronically stored information (ESI), including, but not limited to, field notes; policies and procedures (and memoranda concerning them); any correspondence, including any correspondence with a U.S. Attorney’s Office; briefing memoranda; documents reflecting communications with cooperators and Federal Firearms Licensees (“FFLs”); notes of meetings; ESI, records; non-records and tangible things. ESI includes, but is not limited to, computer files of any type, including, but not limited to, word processing documents, e-mail messages, spreadsheets, data, data compilations, data work tables, data extracted from other databases, data sent to a centralized or shared database, data underlying summary reports, correspondence, notes, writings, drawings, charts, sound recordings, power point presentations (or similar presentations), images, calendar entries, digital photographs or other digital images, floppy discs, CDs, DVDs, and flash memory media (including USB drives and memory cards for cameras and cell phones) and any other materials partial or complete, informal, formal, internal, external, proprietary or nonproprietary. If you possess multiple drafts of the same document, produce only the final version of the document while continuing to preserve all other versions. This revised production directive specifically advises you that you must produce responsive information that includes not only information stored on Bureau computers but can also include information stored on home computers, personal laptop computers, PDAs such as Palm Pilots and Blackberries, personal email addresses, and mobile phones, if used for work. It also includes email accounts that employees may have obtained from other agencies during the course of ATF employment. For instance, it is likely that some employees have been assigned email addresses by the Drug Enforcement Administration or Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”). All information, including privileged, protected, and confidential information, must be produced.
Please note that the above list is not exhaustive. You must use your professional judgment to identify what individuals may be involved in the matters referenced in Part C below, what documents, other information or things may exist, and where such materials may be located.
C. What You Need to Do
You must take the following steps to comply with this directive:
You are to produce, no later than close of business on Friday, May 27, 2011, any documents, and materials within your possession, custody, or control without limitation as to date, which may in any way relate to, concern or reference the following matters:
a. Operation Fast and Furious;
b. Any ATF criminal investigation or intelligence information regarding the transfer and/or transportation of firearms believed to be destined for Mexico, where ATF employees, task force officers, or other law enforcement officers participating in the investigation may have observed or had knowledge of, but not directly participated in, firearms transactions, e.g., “allowing” an alleged straw purchase to occur.
c. Any ATF criminal investigation or intelligence information regarding the transfer and/or transportation of firearms believed to be destined for Mexico, where ATF employees, task force officers, or other law enforcement officers participating in the investigation directed, caused, or were involved in the delivery of firearm(s) to a suspect without the intent of immediately recovering the firearm(s), including, but not limited to, the practice sometimes referred to as “walking” guns;
d. Any ATF criminal investigation or intelligence information regarding the transfer and/or transportation of firearms believed to be destined for Mexico, where ATF employees, task force officers, or other law enforcement officers participating in the investigation directed, caused, or were involved in the delivery of firearm(s) to a suspect with the intent of immediately recovering the firearm(s), (a controlled delivery or buy/bust) whether or not the firearms were ultimately recovered;
e. Complaints or objections by ATF agents about: (1) encouraging, sanctioning, or otherwise allowing FFLs to sell firearms to known or suspected straw purchasers; (2) the failure to maintain surveillance on known or suspected straw purchasers; (3) the failure to maintain control over weapons purchased by known or suspected straw purchasers; or (4) letting known or suspected straw purchasers transport guns to Mexico;
f. Any investigations by any law enforcement agency relating to the fatal shooting of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, including information pertaining to any guns found at the crime scene;
g. Any communications between ATF and Lone Wolf, the FFL that sold weapons to Jaime Avila, including any Report of Investigation or other documents relating to a December 17, 2009 meeting between government representatives and Lone Wolf;
h. Any communications related to the Fast and Furious criminal investigation involving ATF and any FFLs who may have cooperated in the investigation.
In order to minimize (to the extent possible) the impact on the field, the production of case files is not being requested at this time. If you identify any criminal investigations or intelligence information that is responsive to letters b., c., or d. above do not produce the case file in response to this directive. Please create and submit to the shared drive, as discussed below, a document entitled “Responsive Cases” and list by case number and title any investigation or intelligence information you believe is responsive. For each case identified, please list them under heading(s) that indicate by letter which letter you believe it is responsive to (e.g. Cases Responsive to Letter C.) Headquarters will review the case file(s) and contact you, if it is determined to be necessary to produce the case file. Any responsive information that is not contained in a case file should be submitted as outlined below.
If, you have no additional documents to submit, please continue to the section of this document entitled “G. Consequences of Failing to Comply with This Directive.” If you have documents to produce please continue reading.
Do not produce any of the following documents generally described as national policy documents (Headquarters has and will produce these documents):
The 2009 ONDCP National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy
The Draft 2011 ONDCP National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy
The Department of Justice Strategy for Combating the Mexican Cartels
The Department of Justice Firearms Manual
Any national ATF Orders, Briefs, Handbooks, or Guides
The ATF National Firearms Trafficking Enforcement Implementation Plan dated June 2009 and its transmittal memo
The ATF Cartel Strategy dated September 2010 and its transmittal memo (MBV: Emphasis supplied. Remember this?)
However, any additional guidance on any of the above topics issued at the directorate, division, field office, or branch level must be produced.
Do not produce any of the following documents generally described as NFORCE documents from the Fast and Furious case file (Headquarters has and will produce these documents):
Reports of Investigation
Significant Incident Reports
Anything currently contained in the Phoenix Field Division shared drive s:\Phoenix VII\7585115-10-0004
However, any other responsive documents, e-mail, or communications related to Operation Fast and Furious maintained at the directorate, division, field office, or branch level must be produced.
Note: Phoenix Field Division personnel, personnel detailed to the Phoenix GRIT Team, and identified Headquarters personnel do not need to produce e-mails as these have already been acquired.
You do not need to re-submit documents you produced in response to the original document production orders.
IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY POTENTIALLY RESPONSIVE INFORMATION, please proceed to section G. Consequences of Failing to Comply with This Directive and then complete your certification as described in section H.
IF YOU HAVE POTENTIALLY RESPONSIVE INFORMATION, please continue to read this document for detailed instructions regarding your production responsibilities.
D. How to Produce Responsive Information
All production of responsive materials is to be in electronic form only as outlined below. Do not submit paper copies to headquarters. Any responsive document or other communication that is not currently in electronic form is to be scanned.
ATF will compile all responsive documents by having employees place electronic copies of the documents into a shared computer drive. Do not produce hard copies or e-mail copies of documents to HQ.
Each employee, task force officer (TFO) and contractor in ATF has been given access to a nationwide shared computer drive titled “Fast and Furious Investigation.” When accessing this shared drive, each employee, TFO, or contractor is connecting directly into a uniquely created folder specific to each user that was automatically created when you logged in to your computer Thursday, April 7, 2011.
If you have responsive documents to submit, follow the procedure below to deposit them into the shared drive and then complete your certification as instructed below. If you have no responsive documents, complete your certification and return it in as instructed below.
How to Access the Fast and Furious Investigation shared drive.
To access this drive, place your mouse pointer over the “Start” button in the lower left corner of your screen and right click, then select “Explore” or go to “My Computer” and look for the drive.
(MBV: Instruction minutia deleted.)
Copy any responsive documents into the shared drive bearing this label. This area is available only to you, and has been uniquely created for your use.
Only you can access your folder. No one else in your office, division, or directorate can view your submission(s). Similarly, you cannot see or access anyone else’s folder. You can deposit documents into the folder, but once deposited in the folder you cannot rename or delete them.
Saving scanned documents:
If you must scan a document to submit it, please save it using the following naming convention:
(MBV: Instruction minutia deleted.)
How to Save Small Quantities of Responsive E-Mails:
To save a singular responsive e-mail follow these steps:
(MBV: Instruction minutia deleted.)
How to save large quantities of responsive E-Mails:
(MBV: Instruction minutia deleted.)
E. Special Instructions for Supervisors
1. If you are a supervisor, monitor and take all reasonable steps to make sure those you supervise comply with these instructions.
2. Contact Chris Pellettiere via e-mail if there are any staffing changes in your office that affect this matter, such as the retirement or departure of people who may have done work related to these matters or new or additional people who may be doing work relating to these matters.
3. If you are aware of other people whom you believe may have possession, custody or control of potentially relevant information and who may not have received this directive (e.g., an employee who is on leave, a departed employee, contractor, detailee, etc.), immediately contact Chris Pellettiere via e-mail to provide contact information for this individual.
F. Points of Contact
The March 28th directive instructed that points of contact (“POCs”) from the following components be assigned in order to coordinate the preservation of relevant documents and materials:
In my March 28th directive I instructed that points of contact (“POCs”) from the following components be assigned in order to coordinate the preservation of relevant documents and materials:
o Dallas Field Division – Tarrance Jones
o Houston Field Division – Jesse Chester
o Los Angeles Field Division – Michael Hoffman
o Phoenix Field Division – Kevin Simpson
o Office of the Director – Chris Pellettiere
o Office of Field Operations - Stuart Lowery
o Office of Enforcement Programs and Services - John Spencer
o Office of Public and Governmental Affairs - Ernie Hickson
o Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information - Adam Pallotto
o Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations - Amy Walck
o Office of Management - Everett Tabourn
o Office of Science and Technology - George Fuller
o Office of Chief Counsel - David Rose
o Office of Human Resources and Professional Development - Paul Leathem
The POCs assigned pursuant to the March 28th directive will continue to act in that role. The POC is to ensure that all persons who may have information or a need to know about this directive are appropriately notified and instructed on their responsibility in a timely fashion.
G. Consequences of Failing to Comply With This Directive
Please note that the failure to comply with this directive and/or the failure to produce potentially responsive documents, information, and things could negatively impact the Bureau. Therefore, you should err on the side of producing such potentially responsive information. Employees who fail to comply with their duties as outlined above will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including removal. Please note that this directive is in effect until you are notified that it has been terminated.
H. Certification of Compliance with this Directive
Finally, you MUST respond to this email by clicking on the “Vote” icon in the upper left hand corner of this email and then selecting either “Yes” or “No” to personally certify to one of the following statements:
YES – I HAVE PRODUCED ALL POTENTIALLY RESPONSIVE INFORMATION IN MY POSSESSION, CUSTODY, OR CONTROL – I have been advised of the requirement to produce any and all documents, information, and things that are potentially responsive to the document requests and subpoena related to any of the matters referenced in this directive. I HEREBY CERTIFY that I have searched for, and fully produced any responsive documents or information as directed. I am aware that the failure to produce responsive information could result in disciplinary action.
NO – I DO NOT HAVE ANY POTENTIALLY RESPONSIVE INFORMATION IN MY POSSESSION, CUSTODY, OR CONTROL – I have been advised of the requirement to produce any and all documents, information and things that are potentially responsive to the document requests and subpoena related to any of the matters referenced in this directive. I HEREBY CERTIFY that I have searched for and do not have in my possession, custody or control any responsive documents or information. I am aware that the failure to produce responsive information could result in disciplinary action.
· Your vote must be entered in the original e-mail that is sent to you. If you accidentally delete the e-mail, please contact my office. We will arrange to have the e-mail from the Office of the Director re-sent to you. Please do not have another ATF employee forward the e-mail to you, as your vote will not be registered appropriately in the tracking system.
· Do not attempt to respond from a Blackberry or similar smart phone as they do not properly support the voting functionality in Outlook.
· Do not forward this e-mail to another person for them to assist them in complying with this directive. Each user must respond only to the message from the Office of the Director or their response will not be properly recorded.
· Do not respond more than once.
In the future, you may receive additional instructions related to this directive. Thank you for your attention to this matter. If you have any questions concerning this directive, please contact me on 202-648-7500.
(Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations)
On behalf of the Office of the Director