On October 30, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-IA) released a statement regarding the Arizona US Attorney’s Office’s reluctance to take action against Jean Baptiste Kingery, an American alleged to have smuggled “thousands of grenade parts from the US to Mexico to build live grenades for the Mexican cartel.”
On October 23, 2013, Breitbart News reported that explosives used in a bomb attack that killed three Mexican policemen had been traced back to Kingery.
Kingery was arrested in 2009, but the Arizona US Attorney’s Office chose not to prosecute him. Instead, they let him go so they could watch him walk grenade parts across the border in hopes that he would lead them to cartel members. This is very similar to the DOJ/ATF Operation Fast and Furious, where authorities allowed straw purchasers to illegally purchase up to approximately 2,500 firearms in Arizona with the intent to pass those firearms to criminal or cartel elements within Mexico.
In the joint statement released on October 30, 2014, Issa and Grassley reacted to the DOJ Inspector General’s investigation into the grenade walking scandal.
The failure of the Arizona US Attorney’s Office, and specifically Assistant United States Attorney Emory Hurley, to take action allowed a dangerous individual to remain free and continue his criminal activities, placing public safety at risk on both sides of the border by allowing the trafficking of grenades to narco-terrorists.
The IG report makes clear that an assistant US attorney refused to prosecute an known arms trafficker for “unpersuasive” reasons. Not only is this the same problem that occurred in Operation Fast and Furious, it was the same assistant US attorney–who is still working for the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona today.
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