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ATF Agents Skip Hearing on ICE Agent Jaime Zapata Murder

ATF Agents Skip Hearing on ICE Agent Jaime Zapata Murder

Justice for Jaime.

The House Oversight Committee held a hearing today over the Department of Justice Inspector General’s report that showed the ATF missed numerous opportunities to arrest the two men linked to the guns used to murder ICE Agent Jaime Zapata in February 2011.

However, Ronald Turk, ATF associate deputy director and chief operating officer, and William Temple, ATF’s special agent in charge of the Dallas Field Division, refused to show up and testify. This left Chairman Jason Chaffetz fuming.

From The Daily Caller:

ATF Acting Director Thomas Brandon told the hearing the two men skipped “voluntarily,” but he agreed with their decision.

“There is no excuse for that, and we will not tolerate that,” Chaffetz said, signing the subpoenas in the middle of the hearing. Appearing before Congress is “not optional,” he said.

The Zapata family has been waiting six years to receive answers into Jaime’s death.

The ATF identified Otillo Osorio and Robert Riendfliesh as running around 40 firearms in November 2010, but the IG found that no one within the agency did anything to stop them.

The IG did not describe the steps agents should have taken, but the investigators “believe that there clearly was probable cause to arrest both Osorio brothers and Morrison after ATF witnessed the Osorios complete a transfer of 40 firearms on November 9, 2010.”

The notorious Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas used some of those guns to murder Jaime and injure his partner Victor Avila just 200 miles north of Mexico City in February 2011.

Jaime’s murder came after Operation Fast and Furious thrust the ATF and DOJ into the spotlight. Cartel members used guns from that gun running scheme to murder Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010.

From The Washington Times:

Zapata’s parents and Mr. Avila have sued the federal government, ATF agents and ICE supervisors over the attack. In the pending lawsuit, they allege negligence by ICE supervisors who sent the men on a risky trip through a region that the U.S. Embassy in Mexico had warned people to avoid. They also blame ATF agents who supervised the Fast and Furious gun-running operation for developing “high-risk tactics [including allowing firearms dealers to sell to straw buyers] … that made these tragic consequences inevitable.”

Magdalena Villalobos, the lawyer representing Mr. Avila in the case, said Wednesday that she was reviewing the inspector general’s report for any new information that might support her client’s claims. Given the in-depth investigations already conducted by the legal team, she said, she wasn’t anticipating any bombshells but hoped the findings could provide momentum in the case.


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What the hell is going on? Does Trump have his man in yet? These guys need to be disciplined and ordered to testify.

    herm2416 in reply to puhiawa. | March 9, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    McConnell is allowing the Dems to slow walk all nominations…he hates Trump/us that much.

    Ragspierre in reply to puhiawa. | March 9, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    I think you’ll find that Jeff Sessions is the head duck over ATF.

    There is no special nominating or confirmation required for ATF, regardless of the hyperventilation of others.

      I didn’t think much of Sessions before his appointment as AG and I’m even less impressed now.

      Sessions will be replaced as soon as the Russia brouhaha dies down; whoever recommended him for AG ought to be looking for work as well.

        Close The Fed in reply to MSO. | March 9, 2017 at 7:53 pm


        I assume Trump chose Sessions because Sessions:

        1. Was about the ONLY ONE right on immigration in the Senate; and

        2. Supported Trump early in the primary.

        Also, Session’s former Chief of Staff, Stephen Miller, is the wunderkid on illegal aliens now working for Trump and from what I understand, writing some of his speeches. Don’t remember if he contributed to the State of the Union speech.

          Ragspierre in reply to Close The Fed. | March 9, 2017 at 9:41 pm

          Nonsense. Cruz among others was WAY ahead of T-rump. Good grief…

          Bucky Barkingham in reply to Close The Fed. | March 10, 2017 at 7:40 am

          Ragspierre: Cruz would be Lying’ Ted who went to the Texas border along with Cheeto Face Glenn Beck to welcome illegals into the country with soccer balls? Yeah, great guy on illegal immigration.

        Lee Jan in reply to MSO. | March 9, 2017 at 8:36 pm

        Revealed today that Sessions had yet another Russian meeting that he neglected to mention.

          Milhouse in reply to Lee Jan. | March 9, 2017 at 8:48 pm

          Was it in the context of the campaign? If not, it doesn’t matter if he had these meetings twice a week, he wasn’t asked about them and had no reason to suppose the committee was interested in hearing about them. Note that nobody’s suggesting that there was anything actually wrong with the meetings; the only issue is with his testimony, which so far appears to have been full and truthful.

          Milhouse in reply to Lee Jan. | March 9, 2017 at 9:00 pm

          Having now seen the substance of this third supposed meeting, I will point out that (a) it had nothing to do with the campaign, and (b) this was not a “meeting” in any normal use of that term; they were both guests at the same event, together with about 25 other people, and there’s no indication that they even spoke to each other at all, let alone did more than exchange pleasantries. Not only would there have been no reason for him to tell the committee about it, there would have been no reason for him to even remember it. Could you recall accurately, nearly a year later, every guest at every event you attended?

          scaulen in reply to Lee Jan. | March 10, 2017 at 9:06 am

          The NorK troll Lee Jan got to troll.

ATF needs to be abolished, no excuse for it to exist anymore. Originally it existed so Treasury could have some cool paramilitary arm, then it got kicked over to justice.

Any legitimate law enforcement functions it has can be done by the FBI.

    Be careful what you wish for. The FBI is infinitely more competent to run criminal investigations than the BATFE(IEIO).

    Close The Fed in reply to Tom Servo. | March 9, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    To Tom Servo:

    There was a groundswell to abolish the ATF after Ruby Ridge and Waco. But unfortunately, it was not done.

      Waco – the Clintons use armored vehicles against US citizens and many women and children die.

      Ruby Ridge – the Clintons give government snipers orders to shoot on sight; a mother holding her baby (no risk to anyone) is shot and killed.

      Our soldiers fighting for their lives in Afghanistan and other such countries have more restrictions on them than the ATF did under the Clintons.


      Old0311 in reply to Close The Fed. | March 10, 2017 at 2:06 am

      That was during BJ’s time.

      I get real tired of people mischaracterizing the incidents at Waco and Ruby Ridge. Let me set you straight.

      At Waco, the Branch Davidians opened fire on federal agents who were serving arrest and search warrants. This resulted in the deaths of four agents and six Davidians. The federal government’s lead agency in the ensuing blockade of the compound, the FBI, negotiated with Karesh and the Davidians for three weeks to arrange the surrender of the compound, or at least the removal of women and children. The Davidians refused. Controversy exists as to whether the Davidians fired the first shot during the initial raid or if this was done by ATF agents, either accidentally or when neutralizing dogs at the compound. However, there is NO disagreement that the Davidians had THREE WEEKS to remove the children and women, and anyone else who wanted to surrender to authorities, from the compound.

      At Ruby Ridge, the Marshal’s Service allowed Randy Weaver to sit atop his mountain for a YEAR, while they negotiated for his surrender. Weaver KNEW that warrants existed for his arrest, as did the rest of his family. That is a YEAR, a YEAR, a YEAR. I stress this because it is the most important fact that people seem to ignore. It was not until a shootout occurred between marshals and Weaver’s son and family friend, which occurred off of Weaver’s property, that the FBI became involved. It was on the day when the FBI team was moving to take Weaver, and the rest of his family, into custody that the shooting of Mrs. Weaver occurred. What has to be understood is that the bullet which struck Mrs. Weaver may actually have been aimed at Randy Weaver, who was visibly armed and heading for the cabin door. It missed and struck Mrs. Weaver who was standing inside the doorway. Mrs Weaver would have been a wanted felon for aiding and abetting a federal fugitive, at the time.

      In both cases, the Davidians and the Weavers knew that warrants existed for their arrest and had known for a respectable period of time; a YEAR, in Weaver’s case. Yet, in both cases, they refused to surrender themselves to authorities and force was used against agents of the US government. So, how long must the government wait to take custody of a person, or persons, refusing to surrender on a lawful warrant?

      Whether the initial charges were accurate or not is immaterial with regard to the outcome. That is why we have courts. And, in both cases, the wanted persons made no attempt to remove their loved ones from a potentially deadly situation. The result of these actions lie squarely with Randy Weaver and his family and friends and with the Branch Davidians, not with the US Government.

        gourdhead in reply to Mac45. | March 10, 2017 at 1:39 pm

        Waco – Don’t forget about the lengths the gestapo went to setting the man up for a fall. Who is this, Lon Horiuchi??
        As for Waco, where does one begin. The feds could have picked up Koresch anytime while he went to town about every day. This was a thug move by your buddies at BATF and supported by Butch Reno. Your head is screwed on way too tightly.

          Mac45 in reply to gourdhead. | March 10, 2017 at 3:27 pm

          You continue to perpetuate the myths circulated about the situation at WACO by those with a specific agenda.

          In the first place, the arrest warrants were for other, not just Koresh. Also, the ATF was serving search warrants for the premises of the compound. So, the ATF kinda had to go to the compound.

          And, of course, I see that you did not choose to address the fact that, following the abortive warrant service, the Branch Davidians chose NOT to move the children and other non-combatants out of the compound and to safety. Thy had THREE WEEKS to simply leave the compound and no one would have been hurt. So, why didn’t they do this? Maybe the children were being used as human shields against arrest.

          And, what about Randy Weaver being a federal fugitive for a YEAR? He knew he was a fugitive, as he was negotiating with the Marshal’s Service through his attorney. Aiding him, as his family and friends were doing, was a violation of the law against aiding and abetting a fugitive. Yet, Randy never sent his wife and children, one an infant, or his friends down the hill to safety.

          Got an explanation for all of that? No. The facts are that these situations could have been avoided simply by a person, who was the subject of a lawful warrant, surrendering to authorities and pleading his case in a court of law. Or, at the very least, sending his loved ones and innocents out of harm’s way. So, the results of both of these situations is totally on the Koresh and Weaver and their families and friends; not the US Government.

        gourdhead in reply to Mac45. | March 10, 2017 at 4:30 pm

        It’s apparent that you must be Lon Horiuchi. You are so in the tank for an out of control government (at the time) you don’t see straight. This is a waste of time for both of us.

    4fun in reply to Tom Servo. | March 10, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    I’d like to give you 100 thumbs up Tom.
    Shut atf down already. The agency is so corrupt it’s ridiculous.
    Google atf and glory hole, one of many shenanigans those corrupt a$$holes have run and gotten away with no discipline.
    And thanks for remembering Jaime, he’s usually not mentioned when F&F gets talked about.

Unless fully immunized, it would be foolish for these two agents to testify in front of Congress. I’m not a lawyer and I can see that.

Similarly, these agents were (pardon the phrase) following orders, much as dozens or possibly a hundred or more ATF agents were during the Obama administration’s effort to move rifles to drug smugglers. The higher-ups *wanted* dead people so they could point to the rifles as a reason to clamp down on *all* gun sales in the US. It was a spectacularly stupid idea, implemented in the worst possible way, and the people responsible for it were several links up the chain.

Time to use immunity to work up that chain like any good RICO investigation instead of engaging in a scalp-hunt. After all, the left would be more than happy to see these two agents hammered into the ground if that will protect their ilk.

    Old0311 in reply to georgfelis. | March 9, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    Following orders? Isn’t that the Eichmann defense?

    Close The Fed in reply to georgfelis. | March 9, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    To GeorgFelis:

    There are enough jobs in America that you shouldn’t stay in a job that wants you to distribute arms to cartels to prove a bad point.

    Seriously, quit and find honest employment.

    No excuse.

      Just remember you’re looking at the events with 20/20 hindsight. The agents were not (of course) told their job was to move guns to the Sinaloa cartel. They were responsible for small bits of the larger puzzle, and only after a few years and hundreds of guns did the whole horrid picture become obvious. It is far too easy for me to imagine groups of otherwise perfectly honest agents working on this task with the absolute knowledge that their superiors could not possibly be doing what the press was reporting until the project was shut down and the facts became obvious.

      It is natural to trust your boss, and think they have the same moral values as yourself. The immoral abuse of this trust by the previous administration covered far more DOJ positions than simply the ATF.

Shut BATFE down. They have been out of control, losers for years now. We can do much better without them.