U.S Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and former state Attorney General, Tuesday asked Attorney General Eric Holder to come clean on all alleged gun-walking operations, including allegations of a Texas-based scheme. The rebuke came the same day the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced that, Kenneth Melson, the interim director that oversaw the gun-trafficking sting operation known as ‘Operation Fast and Furious’ is leaving the agency for a new position within the Justice Department.
“Instead of reassigning the responsible for ‘Fast and Furious’ within the Department of Justice, Attorney General Holder should ask for their resignation, and come clean on all alleged gun-walking operations, including a detailed response to allegations of a Texas-based scheme”, Sen. Cornyn said.
ATF has denied claims of a Texas-based gun running scheme. But according to reports by KPRC in Houston, ATF agents asked Carter’s Country, the largest independent gun retailer in Texas, to let gun sales go through even when the sales person suspected that the weapons were headed to Mexican drug gangs.
In the ‘Fast and Furious’ operation ATF agents instructed federally licensed firearms dealers in Arizona to sell weapons to suspected gun traffickers. The ATF and federal prosecutors had hoped the sting would help them track gun buyers reselling weapons to Mexican drug cartels. However, U.S agents did not follow the guns and a Congressional investigation done earlier this year found that 122 guns linked to the operation had been recovered at crime scenes in Mexico. Roughly 2,000 firearms were sold to gun traffickers in the sting that ran from late 2009 to early 2011.
In December The Washington Post reported that more than 115 firearms sold by Carter’s County in Houston had been recovered by Mexican police and military.