Wednesday, December 19, 2012

ATF Agent Sold Gun To Fast & Furious Straw Purchaser

And he's still employed by the ATF. Go figure.

CBS News has learned that two guns found in the area of a recent Mexican drug cartel shootout have been linked to Fast and Furious: one trafficked by a suspect in the case, and the other purchased by a federal agent.

Mexican beauty queen Susana Flores Maria Gamez and four others died in the brutal gun battle between Sinaloa cartel members and the Mexican military in November. CBS News has learned that an FN Herstal pistol recovered near the crime scene in November was originally purchased by an Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) manager who was faulted by the Inspector General in Operation Fast and Furious: George Gillett. Gillett was the Asst. Special Agent in Charge of ATF Phoenix when Fast and Furious began.

The Herstal pistol is nicknamed a "cop-killer" because of its designation as a "weapon of choice" for Mexican drug cartels. We've learned the Inspector General planned to question Gillett today after a hastily-opened inquiry to determine how this agent's personal weapon got into the hands of suspected cartel members.

CBS News spoke to Gillett, who is still employed at ATF. Gillett acknowledged he once owned the weapon in question, but says he sold it in Phoenix sometime last year after advertising it on the Internet. He declined to provide the name of the man who bought it, but says he went "above and beyond" what was required by law to complete the firearms transaction. That included asking the purchaser to fill out a form giving personal information and stating that he was in the US legally; and checking his driver's license, which Gillett said was issued in the US.

"I didn't do anything criminal," Gillett stated. He calls himself a gun enthusiast: "I've been a gun collector all my life." He told CBS News he ran into financial difficulties in recent years and sold some of his firearms. Gillett says the Herstal pistol may have sold for approximately $1,100.

"I didn't do anything criminal." Yah, we know: I am not a crook. We've heard that one before.

Click the link to read the rest of this story. More fine reporting by Sheryl Atkisson, one of only two reporters willing to embarrass the Obama administration (the other is ABC's Jake Tapper, who asked President Obama in today's press conference on gun control, "Where were you for the last four years?")

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