How Did an Ex-ATF Official's Gun End Up at a Fast and Furious Murder Site?
A FN Five-Seven semi-automatic pistol, a high powered handgun originally
restricted to military and law enforcement customers, was recovered by Mexican police at the scene of a Nov. 23 shootout between the Sinaloa Cartel and the Mexican military.
Records show the gun was purchased in January 2010 by George Gillett, the former No. 2 in the ATF office in Phoenix. Gillett now works at ATF headquarters in Washington as a liaison to the federal Bureau of Prisons.
Gillett purchased the weapon at Legendary Arms, a Phoenix gun store. On the federal form 4473 used to buy the gun, Gillett used the ATF office address, 201 East Washington, and said "Apt 940." On subsequent purchase, Gillett used a commercial address, that of a strip mall.
Both actions are illegal, since ATF regulations require buyers use their residential address.
"Lying on form 4473 is a felony and can be punished by up to five years in prison in addition to fines," Sen. Charles Grassley said in a letter Wednesday to Michael Horowitz in the Office of Inspector General. "I request that you initiate an investigation into these matters and that you specifically examine whether Mr. Gillett was the purchaser as indicated by these documents, why the forms list multiple, inaccurate residential addresses while purchasing the weapons, and how the weapon purchased on January 7, 2010 ended up in Mexico."
I won't venture much of a guess as to how Gillett's gun ended up there and why he evidently lied on his forms. The ATF itself takes its background check system extremely seriously. Surely Mr. Gillett will soon get a knock or a call from his former colleagues about all this.
News reports keep referring to one of the dead at the scene, Maria Susana Gamez, as a "beauty queen." Fox's newest report says that she was fighting alongside the cartel members. Was she an operative or a captive? The presence of an AK-47 near her body suggests the former.
One other thing worth pointing out is how fresh this particular crime scene is. The shootout took place on November 23 of this year, long after Fast and Furious supposedly ended. The president who is spending this week and presumably the next year or two talking about gun control needs to answer for how guns linked to his administration keep turning up at murder and gunfight sites in Mexico.