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September 20, 2012 | By Richard A. Serrano, This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details
WASHINGTON -- Democrats on Capitol Hill insisted a new independent report into deep failures in Operation Fast and Furious on the Southwest border vindicates the top leadership at the Department of Justice in the flawed gun-tracking program, while Republicans said it showed that Atty. Gen. Eric Holder's “inner circle” does not adequately serve the country's top law enforcement official. On Wednesday, the Justice Department's inspector general concluded that Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents; federal prosecutors in Phoenix; and top ATF and DOJ officials in Washington are all to blame for losing some 2,000 firearms on the U.S.-Mexico border after agents purposely allowed illegal gun purchases in hopes of tracking Mexican cartel leaders.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 9, 1994
Congratulations on your editorial "A Rebuke to the Government" (March 1). It was appropriate but did not go far enough. All law is force. Behind each law is the bayonet. How many Wacos lie behind the Brady bill and other proposed plans designed to disarm law-abiding citizens? In spite of Atty. Gen. Janet Reno's rhetoric to the contrary, the chapter on Waco is not closed and won't be closed until she resigns and the ATF and FBI officials responsible are brought to justice.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 8, 1991
This is in response to "Raid Terrifies Orange Family" (Aug. 29). The article describes as victims the family of Henry Truong, a Vietnamese-born, American-educated electrical engineer, whose members were terrorized by an early-morning "storm trooper"-style raid on their home Aug. 28 by (federal) agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. It appears that, although these agents obtained a search warrant, it was only after their raid was over that they discovered that the people they were after (former tenants)
NATIONAL
November 10, 2010 | By Richard A. Serrano, Tribune Washington Bureau
A much-touted federal effort to keep U.S. firearms out of the Mexican drug wars is unwieldy, mismanaged and fraught with "significant weaknesses" that could doom gun smuggling enforcement on the border to failure, an internal Justice Department review concluded Tuesday. Agents with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives focus only on small gun sales and do not share information with law enforcement officials on both sides of the border, the review said.
NATIONAL
July 17, 2011 | Richard A. Serrano
Congressional investigators probing the controversial Fast and Furious anti-gun-trafficking operation on the border with Mexico believe at least six Mexican drug cartel figures involved in gun smuggling also were paid FBI informants, officials said Saturday. The investigators have asked the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration for details about the alleged informants, as well as why agents at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which ran the Fast and Furious operation, were not told about them.
NEWS
August 29, 2013 | By Richard A. Serrano and Alexei Koseff
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration announced Thursday that it would close loopholes in the rules on acquiring machine guns and other dangerous weapons and ban U.S. military-style firearms sent overseas from returning to this country. The announcement of the new executive actions came as Vice President Joe Biden administered the oath of office to the new head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the first Senate-confirmed director in the agency's history.
NATIONAL
March 8, 2011 | By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
U.S. authorities in Mexico charged with stemming the flow of U.S. weapons to drug cartels have been hampered by shortfalls in staffing, agents with limited Spanish skills and the difficulty of recruiting new agents to the dangerous posting because they can't officially carry weapons, current and former staff members say. Facing new accusations that investigators with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed buyers to...
NEWS
February 2, 2012 | By Richard A. Serrano
House Republicans investigating the Fast and Furious operation threatened Thursday to seek a contempt of Congress citation against Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr., saying his Department of Justice has refused to turn over key documents in the Department of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms gun-tracking investigation and that the Obama administration is trying to hide its involvement in the program that allowed hundreds of U.S. weapons to fall into the hands...
NEWS
September 19, 2012 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - Fourteen federal law enforcement officials - from field agents in Arizona to top managers in the ATF and Department of Justice in Washington - created a “significant danger to public safety” under Operation Fast and Furious and those still employed were referred for possible job discipline for carrying out a gun-walking operation that saturated the Southwest Border with more than 2,000 illegally-purchased firearms. Less than an hour after those findings were announced Wednesday by the Justice Department's Inspector General's office, two of the individuals - Kenneth Melson, the former head of the ATF, and Deputy Assistant Atty.
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