A high-ranking Mexican drug trafficker with the powerful Sinaloa cartel made a series of explosive allegations in a federal court filing, arguing that he had an agreement with top U.S. officials allowing his criminal empire to obtain American weapons from the federal government while shipping tons of cocaine and heroin across the border. According to court documents, U.S. agents even helped the cartel elude Mexican and American investigators in exchange for information on rival drug groups.
The claims were made by Jesus Vicente “El Vicentillo” Zambada-Niebla, who was arrested by the Mexican military in 2009 and extradited to the U.S. for trial on federal drug-trafficking charges. Prosecutors accused him of serving as the “logistical coordinator” for the Sinaloa cartel. He responded earlier this year by invoking a “public authority” defense — essentially arguing that since he was working for the U.S. government under an agreement, he cannot be prosecuted.
Texas Congressman and GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul continues to champion constitutional rights. His latest endeavor is a bill that would abolish “gun-free zones,” ultimately permitting teachers to carry firearms on school grounds. Predictably, anti-gun groups are calling the legislation “extremist.”
CNS News reports, “H.R. 2613, the Citizens Protection Act of 2011, would repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 and remove all federally created criminal safety zones.”
The Gun-Free School Zones Act was first enacted as section 1702 of the Crime Control Act of 1990. The text of the act reads, “It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.”
Police Officer Daniel Harless, of Canton, Ohio, is making quite a name for himself, having garnered a reputation for his outrageous tirades against those he engages in traffic stops. Two weeks ago, The New American reported on Harless’ encounter with a legal gun owner, in which he berated the driver for several minutes and made several threats against the driver. Now, a new video has emerged of a traffic stop that took place in July 2010 between Harless and a car full of passengers, in which Harless threatens to kill them.
In the video, Harless is heard threatening a group of passengers engaged in a traffic stop, and grows angry after he found a gun in the car. Unlike the video that was exposed last month, however, these passengers do not appear to have a permit for the weapon.
Two weeks ago, concerned about news reports that President Obama would order the investigation of citizens buying two or more rifles at a time, a licensed Texas gun dealer contacted his local Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) official to find out if the reports were true, so he could be in compliance. The ATF official assured him that he was aware of such legislation having been considered, but added, “The law is not going to pass, and we can’t enforce something that isn’t law.” This week, however, gun dealers and pawnshop owners across the country received a certified letter from the ATF requiring just such compliance.
The letter received by the dealer (viewable at Infowars.com, and personally examined by this writer) requires gun dealers in the states bordering Mexico (Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California) to report the sale or disposition of two or more semi-automatic rifles of certain types to the same person during a five-day period. Compliance with the new demand is to begin on August 14, 2011. The rifles in question are those capable of accepting a detachable magazine and with a caliber great than .22 (including .223/5.56 caliber).
Recent news stories publicize a number of problems emanating from local law enforcement, some of which are indicative of a decreased understanding of constitutional rights while others which reveal perhaps law enforcement officers’ heightened sense of authority. Some incidents reveal both, like a recent disturbing exchange between a police officer in Canton, Ohio and a legal gun owner.
The Blaze reports:
A police officer’s dash cam in Canton, OH caught a disturbing exchange last month between a cop and a driver during a traffic stop. In it, the cop can be heard (and seen) berating a man for not telling the officer immediately that he had a concealed carry permit and thus a concealed weapon, even saying at one point he should have killed the gun owner. But there’s just one problem:
Just when you think government can’t get any more bizarre, along comes a story that makes you wonder if Larry, Moe, and Curly can be far behind. The following above-the-fold headline appeared in Thursday’s Washington Times print version: “D.C.’s fix: Set up a gun shop with cops.” Somebody must have caught the Freudian slip, as the paper’s online version dispensed with the opening pun, “D.C.’s fix,” and left it at “D.C. police sets up gun dealer in its headquarters.”
Whether one is for or against so-called gun control, the situation in high-crime District of Columbia is emblematic of the duplicity that surrounds modern-day law enforcement and our constitutional rights.
Washington, D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department has come up with a brainstorm to ensure that the Nation’s Capitol does not wind up violating the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 2008 decision (District of Columbia v. Heller) invalidating D.C.’s gun ban, illegally imposed in 1976 — open the District's only gun shop in a police station.
The United Nations is preparing to finalize its Arms Trade Treaty in 2012, better known in the United States as the Small Arms Treaty, after a series of talks in the Third Preparatory Committee took place last week. The final talks on the treaty have been scheduled for four weeks next summer, and new rules indicate that a majority vote is not necessary in order for the treaty to be passed. The Heritage Foundation contends that though the stated purpose of the treaty is to “address the absence of commonly agreed international standards for the transfer of conventional arms, which, it is argued, contribute to war, crime, and terrorism,” the treaty poses a threat to American liberties and interests.
Throughout the talks on the treaty, members of the UN Security Council — which includes China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States — voiced concerns over the establishment of a supranational authority. Security Council members and the European Union have now managed to eliminate the presence of that supranational authority originally designated by the treaty, replacing it with a more general statement of obligations related to arms trade which are to be fulfilled nationally, not globally.
The United Nations is planning on its Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) being finalized in 2012.
The new scandal centering on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) makes it clear that “Operation Fast and Furious” was not the agency’s only program for putting firearms into the hands of foreign criminals. It is becoming clear that a second misguided effort to track arms sales to the Third World — “Operation Castaway” — ended up supplying weapons to criminals in Honduras and Puerto Rico which were used in violent crimes.
Operation Castaway — like its sibling, Operation Fast and Furious — began with the purported mission of decreasing the illegal sale of firearms. In the latter operation, the ATF’s Phoenix office used gun stores in the Southwest to track so-called “straw purchases” that placed firearms in the hands of foreign criminals. (In a “straw purchase,” a person, usually an American citizen, buys firearms with the intention of reselling them to individuals who cannot legally own them.) “Operation Castaway” allegedly operated in Florida with a similar mission, and ended in the same way: Rather than the "sting" operation being contained in a way that would have prevented the weapons from getting into the hands of foreign criminals, the firearms purchased in Florida flowed freely into Central America.
As the scandal surrounding the Obama administration’s operation to put high-powered guns in the hands of Mexican drug cartels continues to grow, new revelations suggest that American taxpayers might have actually paid for the weapons through the stimulus bill and multiple agencies. On top of that, Attorney General Eric Holder apparently lied about his knowledge of the scheme.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (still known as ATF) is facing growing pressure after whistleblowers exposed “Project Gunrunner” and “Operation Fast and Furious” to public and congressional scrutiny. It turns out many of the guns shipped to Mexican crime syndicates with ATF permission have ended up at crime scenes on both sides of the border. And at least three of the weapons were involved in the slaying of U.S. federal agents.