Gunwalking: Univision Talks About Operation Castaway
Operation Fast and Furious was not the only gun walking program. Univision shed some light on another, Operation Castaway, centered around Hugh Crumpler, a 65 year old Vietnam War vet. Guns from this operation were found in Honduras, Puerto Rico, and Colombia.
Mr. Crumpler sold guns at gun shows in Orlando, FL and noticed how certain people would show up at every gun show. ATF placed him under review because of multiple sales reports to certain clients. One of his clients, Ramon Lopez, had links to the criminal organization Torres Sabana in Puerto Rico. Another, Jesus Puentes, gave weapons to Venezuela and Colombia, which landed in the hands of the Envigado Office, a ring of hitmen in Medellin. His biggest clients were the Guillen brothers from Honduras, the country with the highest per capita murder rate in the world.
ATF detained Mr. Crumpler after six months and encouraged him to become an informant. He would become the best informant they had in 18 months. However, he claimed the ATF would not play fair. Like in Fast and Furious, it appears the ATF made no attempt to interdict the weapons.
“When the ATF stopped me, they told me the guns were going to cartels,” he told Univision. “At that point, that was the first time I knew they were going to cartels. The ATF knew before I knew, and had been following me for a considerable length of time. They could not have followed me for two months like they said they did and [sic] not know the guns were going somewhere and not want for that to be happening.”
“They knew the guns were going to cartels and they wanted them to go to cartels.”
ATF didn’t notify Mexico about Fast & Furious and it turns out they didn’t tell Honduras.
“I got in touch with the US Embassy here in Tegucigalpa,” said Oscar Alvarez, former Security Minister of Honduras. “They tell me they have no knowledge as an Embassy of any official operation.”
Guns from Castaway were found in Colombia. Fast and Furious guns were found in the same raid.