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Tipsheet

ATF Director Watching Cartels Buy Guns From Washington D.C.

Rep. Darrell Issa has released emails that show ATF Director Kenneth Melson, who is overseen by Attorney General Eric Holder, not only knew about Operation Fast and Furious, but was being briefed on a weekly basis about the progress and was watching Cartels purchase weapons used to kill innocent people from his cozy office in Washington D.C.

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-The first e-mail from March 10, 2010, to Operation Fast and Furious Group VII Leader David Voth indicates that the two most senior leaders in ATF, Acting Director Kenneth Melson, and Deputy Director Billy Hoover, were “being briefed weekly on” Operation Fast and Furious.  The document shows that both Melson and Hoover were “keenly interested in case updates.”


- A second e-mail from March 12, 2010, shows that Deputy Assistant Director for Field Operations William McMahon was so excited about Fast and Furious that he received a special briefing on the program in Phoenix - scheduled for a mere 45 minutes after his plane landed.


-A third - and perhaps the most disturbing – e-mail from April 12, 2010, indicates that Acting Director Melson was very much in the weeds with Operation Fast and Furious.  After a detailed briefing of the program by the ATF Phoenix Field Division, Acting Director Melson had a plethora of follow-up questions that required additional research to answer.  As the document indicates, Mr. Melson was interested in the IP Address for hidden cameras located inside cooperating gun shops.  With this information, Acting Director Melson was able to sit at his desk in Washington and – himself – watch a live feed of the straw buyers entering the gun stores to purchase dozens of AK-47 variants.

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