The L.A. Times has an exclusive this morning that claims the BATFE had top Operation Fast and Furious gun smuggler Manuel Fabian Celis-Acosta dead to rights in May of 2010, and let him go.
Seven months after federal agents began the ill-fated Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation, they stumbled upon their main suspect in a remote Arizona outpost on the Mexican border, driving an old BMW with 74 rounds of ammunition and nine cellphones hidden inside.
Detained for questioning that day in May 2010, Manuel Fabian Celis-Acosta described to agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives his close association with a top Mexican drug cartel member, according to documents obtained this weekend by the Times/Tribune Washington Bureau.
The top Fast and Furious investigator, Special Agent Hope MacAllister, scribbled her phone number on a $10 bill after he pledged to cooperate and keep in touch with investigators.
Then Celis-Acosta disappeared into Mexico. He never called.
Like John Hayward, I know that DOJ’s operation never had any hope of creating a case against higher ups in the United States, as the guns were not tracked at all once they went over the border. DOJ had a list of the smugglers, forced certain gun shops to funnel weapons to this list of smugglers, and then escorted the shipments to the border. Once the weapons disappeared, BATFE agents and supervisors waited–the latter with giddy anticipation–for the weapons to be used in the murder of Mexican citizens. The weapons would be discarded by the cartels (to deny a ballistic fingerprint tying the guns to the murderers), recovered by Mexicans authorities, and submitted for tracing to the BATFE, which then could claim that the weapon they escorted over the border was one more bit of evidence to call for increased gun laws, and support the Obama Administration’s anti-gun push at the time, which was based upon propagating the 90-percent lie.