Report: Fast and Furious Armed, Financed Cartel in Exchange for Info

By Matt Vespa | January 14, 2014 | 10:32am EST

Attorney General Eric Holder may find himself back on the hot seat again after a new report shows that the federal government armed the Sinaloa cartel in exchange for information.  Additionally, this alleged new development brings into question whether Holder knew about the program he's denied ever knowing about.

Business Insider's Michael Kelley, who reported on this development yesterday, wrote that "an investigation by El Universal [a major Mexican newspaper] found that between the years 2000 and 2012, the U.S. government had an arrangement with Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel that allowed the organization to smuggle billions of dollars of drugs while Sinaloa provided information on rival cartels."

Furthermore, "the El Universal investigation is the first to publish court documents that include corroborating testimony from a DEA agent and a Justice Department official."

Those statements relate to the U.S. District Court in Chicago concerning the arrest of Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, the son of Sinaloa leader Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada and allegedly the Sinaloa cartel's "logistics coordinator," according to Kelley.

It's been alleged that, in exchange for information on rival cartels, federal law enforcement would allow the Sinaloa cartel to continue their trafficking of narcotics unmolested and that their leadership would be safe from federal prosecution.  Kelley wrote that, in February of 2010, "Zambada-Niebla argued that he was also 'immune from arrest or prosecution' because he actively provided information to U.S. federal agents." He "also alleged that Operation Fast and Furious was part of an agreement to finance and arm the cartel in exchange for information used to take down its rivals. (If true, that re-raises the issue regarding what Attorney General Eric Holder knew about the gun-running arrangements.), added Kelley.

If this turns out to be true, it will be quite the bombshell. But, for now, the media is obsessed with Chris Christie's alleged politically-motivated traffic jam on the most important bridge in the entire universe.

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