A federal agent who exposed the Justice Department’s flawed gun-trafficking investigation known as Operation Fast and Furious says the FBI played a key role in events leading to the 2010 murder near Nogales, Ariz., of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. John Dodson, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, contends that the bandits who killed Terry were working for FBI operatives and were sent to the border to do a drug rip-off using intelligence from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
“I don’t think the (FBI) assets were part of the rip-off crew,” Dodson said. “I think they were directing the rip crew.” Dodson’s comments to The Arizona Republic.
His revelations, later verified by an Office of the Inspector General’s report, ignited a national scandal over Fast and Furious that resulted in a congressional contempt citation against Attorney General Eric Holder and the replacement of top ATF and Justice Department officials.
He asserts that the DEA had information about, and may have orchestrated, a large drug shipment through Peck Canyon that December night. He alleges that DEA agents shared that intelligence with FBI counterparts, who advised criminal informants from another cartel that the load would be “theirs for the taking.”
However, it does not allege that the DEA knew of a drug shipment going through Peck Canyon, or that the FBI passed such information to informants.
The primary target of Fast and Furious was a Phoenix man named Manuel Celis-Acosta, who federal authorities believe was responsible for more than 1,500 weapons purchases during the 15-month probe. After the operation began in 2009, DEA officials informed ATF that they had a wiretap on Celis-Acosta and were monitoring his firearm activities. About the same time, according to congressional documents, two of Celis-Acosta’s associates who had financed gun purchases were cultivated as FBI informants.
Dodson alleges in his book that they even used “FBI money to ultimately purchase a significant portion of the firearms.” Dodson told The Arizona Republic that ATF administrators unsuccessfully tried to block publication of his manuscript and insisted that he qualify allegations about the Terry homicide to indicate they were not based upon classified information he gained as an agent. “They were very strict and stern about that,” He said agents sometimes allow or encourage criminal conduct by operatives to help them rise within organizations, and thus to produce better intelligence.
“Essentially, the United States government is involved in cartel-building,” “(They) were given carte blanche to continue to smuggle tons of illicit drugs into Chicago and the rest of the United States and were also protected by the United States government from arrest and prosecution in return for providing information against rival cartels which helped Mexican and United States authorities capture or kill thousands of rival cartel members,” the motion stated.
Federal prosecutors admitted to a longtime informant relationship with Loya-Castro, and confirmed he was allowed to participate in criminal conduct “as specifically authorized” by Justice Department officials. Zambada-Niebla is awaiting trial. , “And there was no way we were going to take down a cartel with what we were doing.”
Sources—the blaze, firewire, dennis wagner