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 amplify assertions he made in his recently released book, “The Unarmed Truth,” about his role as a whistle-blower in the Fast and Furious debacle.
Terry belonged to an elite Border Patrol tactical team sent to a remote area known as Peck Canyon, roughly a dozen miles northwest of Nogales, where violence had escalated because criminal gangs were stealing narcotics from drug runners known as mules. He was slain in a shootout with several bandits. Two assault-type rifles found at the scene were subsequently traced to Fast and Furious.
The operation, based in Phoenix, was launched in 2009 to identify and prosecute drug lords, but instead allowed guns to be “walked” into the hands of Mexican criminals. ATF agents encouraged licensed firearms dealers in Arizona to sell more than 2,000 weapons to known “straw buyers” who were working for cartels. Instead of arresting suspects immediately, surveillance agents took notes and let them disappear with the guns.
After the Terry slaying and an attempted cover-up within the Justice Department, Dodson provided evidence and testimony to Congress. 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.
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