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Smuggled NM guns tied to cartel murders ^ | 15 March, 2011 | Crystal Gutierrez, Alex Tomlin

Posted on 03/18/2011 10:22:42 AM PDT by marktwain

COLUMBUS, N.M. (KRQE) - Federal documents state a gun smuggling operation allegedly run by three public officials from a tiny New Mexico border town had ties to Mexican drug cartels and some of the weapons were used in several murders.

Last week, federal agents raided Columbus in Luna County arresting Mayor Eddie Espinoza, Village Trustee Blas Gutierrez and Chief of Police Angelo Vega, along with several others. In total, 11 people are accused of smuggling guns into the Mexican cities of Cíudad Juarez and Palomas.

Palomas sits just across the border from Columbus.

For the first time the federal arresting agencies have officially said Espinoza and Gutierrez helped traffic firearms to Mexican drug cartels. Vega and eight others are charged as conspirators.

Prosecutors said the smuggling operation helped the cartels wage their bloody turf wars with shocking efficiency. Federal documents track the guns from New Mexico to the streets of Cíudad Juarez and Palomas and the crimes committed with the weapons.

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or ATF have connected some of the guns to at least eight recent murders in those cities.

Mexican authorities are looking into whether the 11 should be charged in those crimes.

The ATF said guns from the smuggling operation were also seized during drug raids and turned up in a bust of a kidnapping operation in Juarez.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

KEYWORDS: aliens; atf; banglist; border; democrats; employees; gunwalker; mexico; public; smuggling
Note that the BATF was watching this happen for over a year before they did anything, and that the arrests did not occur until after the building gunwalker scandal is due imminent congressional investigation.
1 posted on 03/18/2011 10:22:47 AM PDT by marktwain
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To: marktwain
Note that the BATF was watching this happen for over a year before they did anything

Perhaps the BATFE is working on becoming a self-funded organization...

You know, save the taxpayers a few bucks?

2 posted on 03/18/2011 10:31:02 AM PDT by tpmintx (Browncoats forever!)
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To: marktwain

BATFE BS. FINALLY broke up the smuggling op so that they have SOMETHING to fight the Gunwalker scandal.

3 posted on 03/18/2011 10:37:41 AM PDT by Marty62 (Marty60)
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To: marktwain

It’s the “Police Chief Loophole.”

4 posted on 03/18/2011 10:38:38 AM PDT by Fido969 ("The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax." - Albert Einstein)
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To: marktwain

Hey! Maybe they put really long range RFID tags in the guns so they could track them to the bad guys by highflying UAVs!

(Saw this suggested on another site discussing Gunwalker)

There are juts a few problems with this theory:

There were a lot more guns dispersed than bad guys caught. Therefore, it does not sound, as if it was good plan

There would seem to be way to trace which tag went to which bad guy – be it kingpin or peon.

RFID tags do not really have that much of a range.

Placement of these tags in the weapons would have required that the RF would be able to be transmitted.

There are a number of different gaping holes in this theory, but you get the picture.

5 posted on 03/18/2011 10:56:19 AM PDT by BerserkPatriot (There are no 1st Amendment rights without 2nd Amendment Rights)
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To: marktwain

One thing you will never hear is an apology by the Feds to legitimate firearms dealers like Ron Peterson.

6 posted on 03/18/2011 11:03:06 AM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: SpaceBar

I don’t really care about apologies. What we need to see is an investigation and jail time for BATFE heads if in fact they violated federal laws and supplied weapons to drug cartels so they could murder innocent people and now a federal agent.

We also need to know how far up the chain of command this scandal go’s.

It appears the BATFE was engaged in a conspiracy to pin the Mexican drug and crime problem on the the second amendment freedoms of the American people. Once again the anti second amendment agenda of the BATFE has ended with the deaths of innocent people. This agency simply can not be reformed it must be abolished.

7 posted on 03/18/2011 11:53:23 AM PDT by precisionshootist
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To: Fido969

LOL...I’d like to see how their union lawyer spins this.

8 posted on 03/18/2011 12:10:12 PM PDT by WOBBLY BOB ( "I don't want the majority if we don't stand for something"- Jim Demint)
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