Federal agents hunt for guns...one house at a time
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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Federal agents hunt for guns...one house at a time

    In front of a run-down shack in north Houston, federal agents step from a government sedan into 102-degree heat and face a critical question: How can the woman living here buy four high-end handguns in one day?
    Federal agents hunt for guns one house at a time | Front page | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle
    The house is worth $35,000. A screen dangles by a wall-unit air conditioner. Porch swing slats are smashed, the smattering of grass is flattened by cars and burned yellow by sun.

    “I’ll do the talking on this one,” agent Tim Sloan, of South Carolina, told partner Brian Tumiel, of New York.

    Success on the front lines of a government blitz on gunrunners supplying Mexican drug cartels with Houston weaponry hinges on logging heavy miles and knocking on countless doors. Dozens of agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — sent here from around the country — are needed to follow what ATF acting director Kenneth Melson described as a “massive number of investigative leads.”

    All told, Mexican officials in 2008 asked federal agents to trace the origins of more than 7,500 firearms recovered at crime scenes in Mexico. Most of them were traced back to Texas, California and Arizona.

    Among other things, the agents are combing neighborhoods and asking people about suspicious purchases as well as seeking explanations as to how their guns ended up used in murders, kidnappings and other crimes in Mexico.

    “Ever turning up the heat on cartels, our law enforcement and military partners in the government of Mexico have been working more closely with the ATF by sharing information and intelligence,” Melson said Tuesday during a firearms-trafficking summit in New Mexico.

    Firearms dealers visited
    The ATF recently dispatched 100 veteran agents to its Houston division, which reaches to the border.

    The mission is especially challenging because, officials say, that while Houston is the number one point of origin for weapons traced back to the United States from Mexico, the government can’t compile databases on gun owners under federal law.

    Agents instead review firearms dealers’ records in person.

    People who are legally in the United States and have clean criminal records, but are facing economic problems are often recruited by traffickers to buy weapons on their behalf in order to shield themselves from scrutiny.

    Knocks at the door of the shack that looked to be the definition of hard times went unanswered.

    “I am out of here,” Sloan said a few moments later, as a pit bull lazily sauntered from the back yard. “I don’t like pit bulls walking up behind me.”

    Best information source
    On second thought, Sloan switched to Spanish and interviewed a neighbor.

    The neighbor said the woman left a month ago after a fight with her husband or boyfriend, who still lived there with what she called “other degenerates.”

    “An angry ex-girlfriend or wife is the best person in the world, the greatest source of information,” Sloan said.

    The night before, the duo were in a stakeout where they watched a weapons sale.

    They also combined efforts with the Drug Enforcement Administration for an aircraft to stealthily follow traffickers to the border.

    On this day, agents weren’t wearing raid jackets or combat boots and weren’t armed with warrants.

    Guns were hidden under civilian shirts.

    Another tip took agents on a 30-minute drive from the shack to a sprawling home with a pool in the back and an American flag out front.

    It turned out two handguns, of a type drug gangsters prefer, were bought by a pastor for target practice.

    Some stories, they say, are hard to believe.

    The lamest so far came from a police officer: He said he bought a few military-style rifles, left them in his car and — on the same night — forgot to lock a door. He couldn’t explain why he didn’t file a police report or why he visited Mexico the day after the alleged theft.

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  3. #2
    Interesting read. Fuel for the firearms registration fight, leading to banning and complete restriction no doubt.

    Although the 'typical' media type is anti-gun, and their minds just fail to wrap around the concepts of 'firearms for self-defense' or the therapeutic pleasure of target shooting and/or hunting, I'm most curious to see how the agenda of this socialist administration is going to play out when it runs up against state after state of pro-gun types that DO understand and appreciate these aspects lost on the antis.

    The whole border issue, with allegations of Americans taking guns illegally into Mexico, is interesting. I guess the realist in me fails to see HOW these ridiculously well-funded cartels even need the help of "Joe Snuffy" hauling in a few guns at a time. I'm not saying it's a "smoke and mirrors" scandal.... but... well, yes I am.

    Enforce the laws already on the books and they'd be well ahead of the game. A nation at war with virtually NO true border security seems the greater issue to me... but what do I know?
    "There is no consitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen." (7th Cir. 1982, Bowers v. DeVito)Stay safe, and stay trained.www.sazsatt.com

  4. Quote Originally Posted by AZSATT View Post
    Interesting read. Fuel for the firearms registration fight, leading to banning and complete restriction no doubt.

    Although the 'typical' media type is anti-gun, and their minds just fail to wrap around the concepts of 'firearms for self-defense' or the therapeutic pleasure of target shooting and/or hunting, I'm most curious to see how the agenda of this socialist administration is going to play out when it runs up against state after state of pro-gun types that DO understand and appreciate these aspects lost on the antis.

    The whole border issue, with allegations of Americans taking guns illegally into Mexico, is interesting. I guess the realist in me fails to see HOW these ridiculously well-funded cartels even need the help of "Joe Snuffy" hauling in a few guns at a time. I'm not saying it's a "smoke and mirrors" scandal.... but... well, yes I am.

    Enforce the laws already on the books and they'd be well ahead of the game. A nation at war with virtually NO true border security seems the greater issue to me... but what do I know?
    I say, put a fence around this whole country, ship all the doggone illegals back to Mexico, send Mexico the bill, and start protecting this country's citizens. Yes, I am an isolationist, I guess.

    TFO

  5. #4
    Related Story From The NRA, they are asking everybody to re-read, pass on and take notice of...

    E.G.:


    [Editor's Note: Readers of the Grassroots Alert know that we often repeat information that is of particular importance. We do this for two reasons: 1) Each week, we add new Alert recipients who are seeing these stories for the first time; and 2) We repeat stories due to the ongoing relevance of the issue, and to reinforce your need to take the requested actions and to share this information with your family, friends, and fellow firearm owners. The story below ran recently, but is even more important now due to a widely read Houston Chronicle article on the issue.]

    NRA-ILA has recently received several inquiries from NRA members in Border States who have been visited or called by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). In some cases, agents have asked to enter these people's homes, and requested serial numbers of all firearms the members possess.

    NRA-ILA :: In Border States, BATFE Asks: "May We See Your Guns?"

    In Border States, BATFE Asks: "May We See Your Guns?"
    Friday, June 19, 2009

    NRA-ILA has recently received several calls from NRA members in border states who have been visited or called by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. In some cases, agents have asked to enter these people's homes, and requested serial numbers of all firearms the members possess.
    In each case, the agents were making inquiries based on the number of firearms these NRA members had recently bought, and in some cases the agents said they were asking because the members had bought types of guns that are frequently recovered in Mexico.
    This kind of questioning may or may not be part of a legitimate criminal investigation. For example, when BATFE traces a gun seized after use in a crime, manufacturers' and dealers' records will normally lead to the first retail buyer of that gun, and investigators will have to interview the buyer to find out how the gun ended up in criminal hands. But in other cases, the questioning may simply be based on information in dealers' records, with agents trying to "profile" potentially suspicious purchases.
    On the other hand, some of the agents have used heavy-handed tactics. One reportedly demanded that a gun owner return home early from a business trip, while another threatened to "report" an NRA member as "refusing to cooperate." That kind of behavior is outrageous and unprofessional.
    Whether agents act appropriately or not, concerned gun owners should remember that all constitutional protections apply. Answering questions in this type of investigation is generally an individual choice. Most importantly, there are only a few relatively rare exceptions to the general Fourth Amendment requirement that law enforcement officials need a warrant to enter a home without the residents' consent. There is nothing wrong with politely, but firmly, asserting your rights.
    If BATFE contacts you and you have any question about how to respond, you may want to consult a local attorney. NRA members may also call NRA-ILA's Office of Legislative Counsel at (703) 267-1161 for further information. Whether contacting a local attorney or NRA, be sure to provide as many details as possible, including the date, time, and location, agent's name, and specific questions asked.

    TFO has the right idea, some of the beginning solutions to Mexico's allegations, our illegal alien problem, California's bankruptcy, IOU's for Income Tax Refunds, unnecessary health care cost increases, auto, home and other insurance increases, etc., is for starters:

    • Build the damm Duncan Hunter style fence Congress funded years ago...
    • Seal the fricking border, nobody goes in or out... except illegal aliens being deported...
    • Abolish NAFTA and every other stinking Free Trade Agreement, period...
    • Criminalize and enforce California and other State, County, Cities, and other municipality's support of Sanctuary policy's for illegal aliens... start putting Government officicals in prision for allowing sanctuary policies... California Governor, Los Angeles Mayor, New York Governor, New York Mayor, Illinois Governor, Chicago Mayor, et.al. ...
    • Impose draconian fines and imprisonment for employers and landlords, property owners, etc., whom employ, lease, sell or otherwise engage illegal aliens...
    • Repeal, abolish 1934 NFA, 1968 GCA, 1986 FOPA, 2007 NICS Improvement Act, Brady Bill(s) ad nauseam...
    • Repeal the 16th Amendment, (Never Ratifed Anyway) abolish the IRS, BATFE, and implement the Fair Tax Act of 2009 ...
    • H.R. 25 H.R. 25: Fair Tax Act of 2009 (GovTrack.us)
    • S. 296 S. 296: Fair Tax Act of 2009 (GovTrack.us)
    • Impeach and try the Usurper Obama and company for Treason...


    DECLARE A NEW DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

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