Patterico's Pontifications


Patterico as Carnac the Magnificent, Redux: More on the Connections Between Project Gunrunner and Jaime Zapata’s Murder

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:52 pm

On March 4, 2011, I asked of the murder of Jaime Zapata:

Was this murder also the result of guns that the Obama administration deliberately allowed into Mexico?

It was known at the time that a Project Gunrunner gun had been found at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. My question was: did the DoJ and/or ATF also “walk” the gun that had been used to kill ICE agent Jaime Zapata? This was a question I had not heard asked publicly before it was asked on this blog. (As I explained at the time, I cannot take credit for asking this question: as often happens, it was a perceptive reader who tipped me to the possibility.)

I elaborated on the thesis on March 29, 2011, asking: Should the ATF Have Prevented the Sale of the Gun that Killed ICE Agent Jaime Zapata?. I followed it up with a post the next day in which I said:

I think the feds had Zapata’s murder weapon in their hands, and let it go. I think that, in February 2011, Zapata was murdered with a gun that literally slipped through the fingers of ATF agents.

The documents upon which I based my analysis related to ATF surveillance of a weapons trafficker named Otilio Osorio and his confederates. It has since been revealed that, just as I had speculated, a shipment of guns delivered by the Osorio crew to a confidential informant in November 2010 included a gun found at Zapata’s murder scene. What I didn’t predict is that one of the other murder weapons involved in Zapata’s murder was also linked to a second illegal firearms trafficker who was being surveilled by ATF:

In a related development, CBS News has obtained documents showing that Barba was under ATF surveillance for at least six months before a rifle he trafficked was used in Zapata’s murder. Zapata’s government vehicle was ambushed by suspected cartel thugs in Mexico Feb. 15, 2011.

Documents indicate ATF opened its case against Barba, entitled “Baytown Crew,” in June of 2010. During the investigation, court records state Barba recruited straw purchasers and “facilitated the purchase and exportation of at least 44 firearms” including assault rifles. On August 20, 2010 Barba took delivery of the WASR-10 semi-automatic rifle later used in Zapata’s murder, obliterated its serial number, and sent it to Mexico with nine others just like it. Nearly two months later, on Oct. 8, 2010, ATF agents recorded a phone call in which Barba “spoke about the final disposition of … firearms to Mexico and also about the obliterating of the serial numbers before they were trafficked.” Barba told straw purchasers the guns were destined for the Zeta drug cartel.

A warrant wasn’t issued for Barba’s arrest until four months later; coincidentally, the day before a rifle he trafficked was used against Zapata.

Barba is now the second weapons trafficker who had been under ATF surveillance to be linked to Zapata’s murder. As CBS News previously reported, ATF had also been watching suspect Otilio Osorio during the time he trafficked a different weapon used in Zapata’s assault. Records show ATF watched on Nov. 9, 2010 as Osorio, his brother Ranferi and Kelvin Leon Morrison transferred a cache of illegal weapons to a confidential informant but failed to arrest the men at the time.

Note the November 9, 2010 date that the Osorio crew shipped weapons to a confidential informant. Then read my March 29, 2011 post again, in which I conducted an extensive examination of the available court documents, and asked:

Was the gun used to kill Zapata part of the shipment that was delivered to the CI [confidential informant] in November 2010? Was that gun allowed to “walk” into Mexico?

It now appears, if you don’t mind my tooting my own horn, that I was dead on. I just didn’t realize that the Osorio gun wasn’t the only gun the U.S. Government had walked into Mexico that ended up being associated with Zapata’s murder.

So the moral of the story is: always trust content from Patterico — but understand that sometimes what the government has done is even worse than Patterico suspected.

20 Responses to “Patterico as Carnac the Magnificent, Redux: More on the Connections Between Project Gunrunner and Jaime Zapata’s Murder”

  1. Again: another person is really Carnac, not me. I’m just wearing the turban in public because they don’t want to.

    Patterico (17e5f6)

  2. I’m changing “Fast and Furious” to “Project Gunrunner” in the title and one other sentence because I’m told F&F is Arizona only. I’m referring to “Project Gunrunner” as the idea of surveilling weapons trafficker and allowing the guns they purchase to “walk” into Mexico unmonitored.

    Patterico (17e5f6)

  3. Who in the MSM – other than Sharyl Attkisson at CBS – has even a passing interest in reporting this?

    No one.

    Colonel Haiku (b74f69)

  4. When do we march on Washington and demand an independent investigator, Holder’s firing, and the impeachment of Holder’s boss?

    Can you say “Holder lied, and people died”?

    Compare this to the outrage over Bush firing a few attorneys as was the norm…

    Oh, BTW, we already knew the moral of the story. That’s why many of us come here first, and sometimes last, as well.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  5. Eric Holder just doesn’t know. The first time he heard about a possible connection was when BIG SIS, told him about a blogger discussing it on February 22, 2012. Big Sis is keeping her eye on subversives like Patterico.

    Folks, Holder should get life.

    Gus (36e9a7)

  6. Congrats – If you could put it together that means the DOJ could put it together and has been stonewalling it. Send your post to Rep. Issa.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  7. Daleyrocks. If I was AG of the US, and FAST and FURIOUS happened. I would have found the rats responsible and put them in prison.

    Either Holder CAN NOT or WILL NOT.

    Which of those 2 possibilities QUALIFIES HOLDER to be A.G.???

    Gus (36e9a7)

  8. Gus, the way I see it, if you or I supplied these killers with all those guns, and then helped cover up the crime, we would be lucky to get life for all the murders that resulted.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  9. If the feds had been tracking illegal contraceptives, we would be hearing plenty from the main streamers.

    Huey (1d2297)

  10. The ATF is even gayer than the CIA I think.

    Good job guys that took some doing.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  11. Holder is raping the rule of law almost as much as Barcky is raping our treasury.

    JD (516dcc)

  12. Holder must have a file on Barcky

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  13. feets- what i wanted to see was the file on Obama before the last election

    It should have been ridiculously easy to campaign against the current crew.

    Just take one issues like the Keystone Pipeline, show how Obama’s actions are opposite of what he says, how he is reigning governing for the benefit of his donors and supporters, not for the good of the American people.

    This should have been easy. What happened? Too much posturing and trying to win a nomination yapping at each other???

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  14. I’m not sure what happened yet but it seems to involve having a surfeit of candidates what want to talk about anything anything anything other than the issues our sad pathetic doomed little country is facing

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  15. If you see the last four years as furthering Soros and Immelt’s interests,then they have been remarkably successful, our oil rigs are out of the gulf and halfway between Brazilian and West African
    waters, GE is having a windfall, not having to pay tax, running the EPA’s green scam.

    narciso (FL 20th, Baptist) (87e966)

  16. narciso (FL20th,Baptist)- It makes me want to puke. Why won’t the republicans make this an issue?

    sickofrinos (44de53)

  17. On a side note. color me suspicious of the timing of the warrant for Barba’s arrest.

    A warrant wasn’t issued for Barba’s arrest until four months later; coincidentally, the day before a rifle he trafficked was used against Zapata.

    How much trouble would it be for agents used to playing “wink and nod” with weapons to backdate a warrant?

    In comparison to the other acts this operation condoned, that would be nothing.

    MaaddMaaxx (25e27f)

  18. How much trouble would it be for agents used to playing “wink and nod” with weapons to backdate a warrant?

    That’s a disturbing thought.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  19. So horrible, and the MSM giving cover is perhaps even more so.

    Dan Collins (af1e93)

  20. This is only the tip of the iceberg in that cesspool known as Holder’s DoJ/ATF/etc.
    The objective is the repeal, by one means or the other, of the 2nd Amendment;
    for authoritarian (read Fascist) states cannot abide an armed citizenry.
    And, if nothing else, the Progressives that have swarmed into DC under the banner of Pelosi/Reid/Obama,
    exhibit all of the traits and characteristics of authoritarian fascism.

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

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