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"The idea was that you would follow it long enough until you were sure you had enough probable cause" to initiate an arrest, Wachtel said.According to ATF field agents involved in Operation Fast and Furious, a part of Project Gunrunner, "ATF agents were trained to interdict guns and prevent criminals from obtaining them" and not to allow guns to walk and then disappear.As a result of a dispute over the release of Justice Department documents related to the scandal, Attorney General Eric Holder became the first sitting member of the Cabinet of the United States to be held in contempt of Congress on June 28, 2012.One 20-year veteran of ATF's Tucson office told us that before Operation Wide Receiver, all of ATF's trafficking cases were very similar in their simplicity: ATF would get a tip from an FFL [Federal Firearms Licensee] about a buyer who wanted a large number of firearms and information about when the transaction was scheduled to take place, and would set up surveillance and arrest the buyer when he headed southbound or at the border.After Operation Wide Receiver was ended, several attorneys at the Phoenix USAO who reviewed the Wide Receiver cases for prosecution found the cases had been so poorly managed that they were reluctant to bring any of them to trial.At the time, under the Bush administration Department of Justice (DOJ), no arrests or indictments were made.
If the guns went to a stash house, agents would speak with subjects at the stash house or conduct a search of the stash house. firearms laws currently govern the possession and transfer of firearms and provide penalties for the violation of such laws.
After President Barack Obama took office in 2009, the DOJ reviewed Wide Receiver and found that guns had been allowed into the hands of suspected gun traffickers.
Indictments began in 2010, over three years after Wide Receiver concluded.
This agent told us that ATF interdicted guns as a matter of course and had been "content to make the little cases," but that Wide Receiver represented a "different direction" from ATF’s typical practice. “Gun trafficking”, although not defined by statute, essentially includes the movement or diversion of firearms from legal to illegal markets. commerce of firearms domestically and internationally. Many states supplement these federal statutes and have firearms laws of their own that are stricter.
A 2009 GAO report on efforts to combat arms trafficking to Mexico notes that straw purchasing is not in itself illegal, although it is illegal to provide false information in connection with a purchase. For example, some states require permits to obtain firearms and impose a waiting period for firearm transfers.
Defendants are often prosecuted and convicted under provisions of statutes such as the GCA that make it unlawful for certain persons to be in possession of firearms, govern the transaction process of obtaining firearms (e.g., straw purchases), and contain penalties for the use of a firearm in a crime of violence or a drug trafficking crime, or penalties for knowingly or fraudulently smuggling goods that would be contrary to U. In another Texas gun trafficking case, Oscar Bravo Hernandez received a sentence of 84 months for buying and sending to Mexico at least 55 firearms from a ring of nine straw purchasers who received sentences from 51 months for the most involved down to three years probation for the least involved.