Third “Gunwalker” weapon evidence withheld by FBI?
More developments in the fiasco that is known as Operation Fast and Furious.
There appears to have been a third “Gunwalker” weapon at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry which hasn’t been in evidence, suggesting it has been withheld. Audio recordings reveal the mention of a third gun that until now has been unknown. The conversation is between ATF Agent Hope MacAllister and Glendale, AZ gun shop owner Andre Howard:
Agent: Well there was two.
Dealer: There’s three weapons.
Agent: There’s three weapons.
Dealer: I know that.
Agent: And yes, there’s serial numbers for all three.
Dealer: That’s correct.
Agent: Two of them came from this store.
Dealer: I understand that.
Agent: There’s an SKS that I don’t think came from…. Dallas or Texas or something like that.
Dealer: I know. talking about the AK’s
Agent: The two AK’s came from this store.
Dealer: I know that.
Dealer: I did the Goddamned trace
Agent: Third weapon is the SKS has nothing to do with it.
Dealer: That didn’t come from me.
Agent: No and there is that’s my knowledge. and I spoke to someone who would know those are the only ones they have. So this is the agent who’s working the case, all I can go by is what she told me.
The tapes are several months old (mid March, 2011):
Law enforcement sources and others close to the Congressional investigation say the Justice Department’s Inspector General obtained the audio tapes several months ago as part of its investigation into Fast and Furious.
Then, the sources say for some reason the Inspector General passed the tapes along to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona: a subject in the investigation. It’s unclear why the Inspector General, who is supposed to investigate independently, would turn over evidence to an entity that is itself under investigation.
A spokesman from the Office of the Inspector General today said, "The OIG officially provided the United States Attorney’s Office with a copy of the recordings in question so that the USAO could consider them in connection with the government’s disclosure obligations in the pending criminal prosecutions of the gun traffickers. Prior to receiving the tapes, the OIG made clear that we would have to provide a copy of the recordings to the United States Attorney’s Office because they would need to review them to satisfy any legal disclosure obligations."
Uh, yeah. And why has it taken this long for copies to be provided elsewhere?
Court records have previously only mentioned two weapons: Romanian WASR "AK-47 type" assault rifles. Both were allegedly sold to suspects who were under ATF’s watch as part of Fast and Furious.
Per the agent in the transcript, the third weapon (SKS) came from “Dallas or Texas or something like that” and they had serial numbers for all three.
Why are we just finding out about the third weapon at the scene?