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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

More connections in ATF scandal: drug cartel stashes weapons at Columbus, NM

Watchdogs who have been warning the U.S. government for years about the dangerously porous southern border now have solid proof that their warnings were not mere speculation. The most dangerous of the Mexican drug cartels, the Zetas, have set up shop in Columbus, New Mexico, and purchased land which they use as safehouses to store firearms and other illicit material. The location of the cartel safehouse is key, given that Columbus has been identified in connection with the ATF gun smuggling scandal, known as Project Gunwalker.
Yesterday's report noted that Columbus has been a haven for Mexican criminals due to deep-seated corruption and apathy among law enforcement and city government. The mayor and police chief, along with 9 other residents, have been charged with various felony weapons trafficking activity. Columbus has seen a complete turnover of its small police department seven times in three years. And ATF agents apparently used the corruption of Columbus for its own purposes in making straw purchases of firearms and walking them across the border to place them into the hands of the cartels.
A gun store owner in nearby Chaparral, NM, sits in jail for selling firearms to the mayor and police chief of Columbus, who told him they were buying the guns to give their families extra protection against dangerous criminals along the southern border.

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