Operation Fast and Furious continues to be an ongoing saga. Today reports are out that sentencing of straw gun buyers, involved in the operation, will be taking place shortly and on the governments side of things, ATF officials involved in Fast and Furious have had their security clearances revoked and criminal charges are pending against them.
First, SeattlePI.com reports:
The case against the gun smuggling ring has progressed in court much faster than the case against the men accused of killing Terry.
So far, 15 of the 20 people charged in the gun case pleaded guilty to charges. Most of those who admitted guilt are straw buyers who said they falsely claimed that guns they bought were for them, when they were actually purchased for the ring. One of the ring's organizers also has pleaded guilty.
Three people who pleaded guilty in the case will be sentenced on Dec. 10, while six admitted straw buyers — including one who bought two guns that were found at the shootout scene — will be sentenced on Dec. 12.
Records show a Jan. 3 trial has been set for five other alleged ring members, including a man accused of being a ring leader, two alleged recruiters and a straw buyer who is accused of illegally buying 245 guns.
Additionally one man has already pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. his plea deal allows him to avoid the death penalty. His sentence is scheduled for March 1, 2013.
The five men who face charges in the death of Border Agent Brian Terry, two of the men are in custody, while the remaining three are fugitives. There is also a FBI reward of $1 million for information that leads to their arrest. Authorities have not said which member of these five actually shot Terry.
On the government front, Katie Pavlich reported an update with regards to ATF officials involved in Fast and Furious:
According to credible ATF sources, officials heavily involved in Operation Fast and Furious and named as partially responsible for the program's failure by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz and the House Oversight Committee have been stripped of their government security clearances while some have been fired, demoted, and transferred. Criminal charges are also reportedly pending.
Former ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Division Bill Newell, former ATF Special Agent in Charge of Operations in the West Bill McMahon and former Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Division George Gillett have been fired while former Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jim Needles and Field Supervisor David Voth have been demoted. Hope McAllister, the lead case agent for Fast and Furious, has been put on leave and transferred out of Phoenix according to reports. McMahon and ATF came under heavy fire just a few months ago after it was revealed McMahon had been receiving ATF paid leave while pulling a six figure salary from J.P. Morgan, the same bank that owns the bureau's credit cards.
The only questions that remain are when will we get to the bottom of Attorney General Eric Holder and Barack Obama's involvement in all of this?