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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...
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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.
NEWS
November 13, 1997 | ELIZABETH SHOGREN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A "rogue operation" within the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has accelerated approval of import permits for 150,000 modified assault weapons, despite President Clinton's clear intent to keep such guns out of the country, administration sources said Wednesday. The permits were approved "in an expedited manner" by a group of ATF agents who "knew full well that the weapons were all but banned by the president," said one senior administration official. The official noted that Clinton is on the verge of issuing an executive order barring imports of the rapid-fire arms.
NATIONAL
November 9, 2011 | By Kathleen Hennessey, Washington Bureau
Pressure piled on Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. as he faced a barrage of questions Tuesday about his knowledge of a federal gun-trafficking sting that allowed more than 2,000 weapons to be sold illegally and why the Justice Department gave inaccurate information to Congress on its connection to the killing of a federal agent. At a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Republican lawmakers quizzed Holder on when he first learned of Operation Fast and Furious, a now-defunct program aimed at tracking guns sold in the U.S. to Mexican drug cartels.
BUSINESS
May 3, 1987
Generally speaking, media coverage of the defense business is characterized by slanted, sensational, anti-industry diatribes. But Ralph Vartabedian's Advanced Tactical Fighter story ("Subcontractors See Red When Looking at ATF," April 19) is damn good. When it comes to publicity, civil servants are notorious cowards, so we have seen government officials increasingly criticizing the industry to satisfy congressional and media critics. There also is increasing direct government participation in the actual management of defense programs.
NATIONAL
March 22, 2012 | By Richard A. Serrano
Manuel Celis-Acosta, the chief suspect in the ATF's "Fast and Furious" investigation who was caught but released at the U.S.-Mexico border in May 2010, was also stopped and released two months earlier while in possession of a Colt .38-caliber pistol purchased illegally under the gun-tracking operation. The revelation that officials twice declined to arrest their prime suspect shows that agents were keenly aware of Celis-Acosta's activities yet repeatedly turned down opportunities to charge him with felony offenses and bring a quick end to the Fast and Furious probe.
NATIONAL
December 22, 2011 | By Richard A. Serrano, Washington Bureau
A reputed Mexican drug cartel leader was charged in the ambush slaying this year of a U.S. immigration officer in Mexico — a killing that set off a massive search for the assailants on both sides of the border. Julian Zapata Espinoza, an alleged chief with the Zetas cartel, pleaded not guilty in a brief court appearance Wednesday in the killing of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Jaime Zapata on Feb. 15. He and another agent, who was wounded, were ambushed in their car by a convoy of vehicles in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi.
OPINION
December 15, 2013 | By Richard Feldman and Arkadi Gerney
A year ago, in the days after 20 schoolchildren and six adults were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., it seemed for a moment that something had changed in America's long-running cultural debate on guns. A new kind of national conversation - even some consensus - seemed possible. But that was then. Today the voices on both sides of the gun policy debate are back to being as shrill as ever. Still, behind the heated rhetoric, there are areas of agreement.
NEWS
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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