ATF Agent to Bosses on Gun-Running Scheme: ‘Prepared to Attend Funeral of a Slain Agent’?

June 16, 2011 - 11:59 AM

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered in Arizona on Dec. 15, 2010 by alleged Mexican drug cartel operatives. Two guns found at the scene had been purposely sold to gun traffickers in a program hatched by the Obama Administration. (AP photo)

(CNSNews.com) - John Dodson, a special agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, pointedly asked his superiors if they were “prepared to attend the funeral of a slain agent” as a consequence of an operation the Obama Administration was running in which suspected intermediaries of Mexican drug cartels were allowed to freely purchase guns from licensed firearms dealers in the United States—all the while under surveillance by the ATF.

Dodson’s words turned out to be horribly prophetic when Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry was slain in Arizona on Dec. 15 by alleged cartel operatives.

Two guns found at the scene of Terry’s murder had been part of the Obama administration program that purposefully allowed so-called “straw buyers” for Mexican cartels to buy guns in the United States for shipment back to cartel operatives in Mexico.

The program was hatched by the administration as a way of tracing guns bought in the United States back to the cartel. During his time in office, President Obama has personally made an issue of the fact that some guns bought in the United States have ended up in the hands of Mexican cartels.

“On at least a couple of occasions I witnessed Special Agent Dodson ask both Special Agent McAllister and Group Supervisor [Dave] Voth if they were prepared to attend the funeral of a slain agent or officer after he or she was killed with one of those straw purchase firearms,” Senior Special Agent Olindo James Casa told the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.

“Neither one answered or even seemed concerned by the question posed to them,” said Casa.

Dodson himself, who also was a witness before the committee on Wednesday, sat next to Casa as he testified.

“Prior to my coming to Phoenix, I had never been involved in or even heard of an operation in which law enforcement officers would let guns walk,” Dodson told the committee. “The very idea of doing so is unthinkable to most law enforcement.

“I and other field agents involved in this operation repeatedly raised these concerns with our supervisors,” said Dodson. “In response we were told that we simply did not understand the plan.

“I cannot begin to think of how the risk of letting guns fall into the hands of known criminals could possibly advance any legitimate law enforcement interest,” said Dodson. “I hope the committee will receive a better explanation than I.”

Both President Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano have boasted of what they describe as the administration’s successful efforts to stem the flow of guns from the U.S. into Mexico.

Obama most recently addressed the issue in a speech delivered in Santiago, Chile, on March 21. “We're also doing more to stem the southbound flow of guns into the region,” he said. “We're seizing many more guns bound for Mexico, and we're putting more gunrunners behind bars. And every gun or gunrunner that we take off the streets is one less threat to the families and communities of the Americas.”

In August of last year, before Border Patrol Agent Terry was murdered, Napolitano brought up the issue at a White House briefing when she was asked about Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s criticism of the administration for failing to adequately enforce the immigration law.

“The facts are the facts, and the facts are that there are, you know, more Border Patrol agents at that border than ever before, there's more infrastructure at the border than ever before, there's more technology at the border than ever before, there's more air cover at the border than ever before,” said Napolitano.

“And the results are the results,” said Napolitano. “The results are that illegal crossings are way down, and seizures of drugs and guns and cash are way up.”