Apparently, a confession just isn't enough these days to keep a guy behind bars who openly admitted trafficking grenades, yes, grenades, to Mexican drug cartel members, thanks to officials working in the ATF Phoenix Field Division Office, Arizona U.S. attorney's office and the Obama Justice Department.
Federal authorities are probing why the U.S. in 2010 let go an Arizona man accused of supplying grenades to a Mexican drug cartel, a case that played a role in the ouster last week of the nation's top firearms regulator and the U.S. attorney in Phoenix.
U.S. officials said missteps in the case, which hasn't been previously disclosed, are being investigated by the Justice Department and Congress. Federal agents in 2009-10 at the Phoenix office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives led the case against the suspect, who they believed was dealing grenades to cartels in Mexico. The case was overseen by prosecutors in the Arizona U.S. attorney's office, the U.S. officials said.
Jean Baptiste Kingery, the suspect in the grenades case, was arrested Aug. 31 in Mexico and has been charged with violating that nation's organized-crime laws, according to U.S. officials.
Mexican police raided his home in Mazatlan and other locations nearby where they reported finding materials that could be used to construct 500 grenades, the officials said. A confidential informant told U.S. investigators last month he had provided Mr. Kingery with components for 2,000 grenades, they said. Mexican authorities, who haven't made the arrest public, didn't respond to repeated requests for comment. An attorney for Mr. Kingery couldn't be located.
The Phoenix ATF Office, the Arizona U.S. attorney's office and the Obama Justice Department are also responsible for the trafficking of thousands of high powered weapons directly into the hands of violent drug cartels on the backs of law abiding U.S. gun shop owners, innocent Mexican civilians and two U.S. federal agents through Operation Fast and Furious.
“Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals, this was the plan. It was so mandated.” –Special Agent John Dodson ATF Phoenix Field Division.