Friday, October 02, 2009

Gulf Cartel buying guns in Houston

The basic economics of the drug war hold that drugs flow north while money and guns flow south. The Houston Chronicle has an article today ("Guns from Houston tied to 55 Mexico deaths," Oct. 2) focused on south-bound gun smuggling. Here's how it begins:

High-powered guns purchased at Houston-area stores by a Gulf Cartel cell and smuggled across the border for the syndicate's bloody warfare have been traced to at least 55 killings in Mexico, including the deaths of police officers, civilians and gangsters, federal agents said Thursday.

The recent tracking of firearms is the result of a four-month anti-cartel operation focused largely on Houston, which the federal government contends is the No. 1 spot in the United States for buying guns that later are used in underworld massacres and other crimes in Mexico.

“As long as we are the cheapest, easiest place to buy guns, they'll keep doing it,” said Dewey Webb, head of the Houston division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which includes the Rio Grande Valley and reaches to Del Rio. “These cartel armies want the best and newest available.”

Deputy U.S. Attorney General David Ogden, who was in Houston to announce results of the operation, said the ATF was able to investigate a backlog of 700 requests from the Mexican government to trace the history of guns from crime scenes to their original purchasers in United States. Also, agents seized 141,440 rounds of ammunition and 443 firearms, according to the Justice Department.

Agents inspected gun dealer records and knocked on doors to ask people what happened to guns they purchased that ended up in Mexico. Among the cases that have yet to be resolved are those involving a small-town Texas policeman who bought a few military-style rifles, left them in his car and — on the same night — forgot to lock a door. He couldn't explain why he had not filed a police report or why he visited Mexico the next day.

38 comments:

doran said...

I really just hate it when I forget to lock the doors on my car full of semi-automatic weaponry, and someone steals all of them. It is just so damned embarrassing, I don't wanta talk about it or even report the theft.

I guess I'm lucky they didn't hot-wire the car and steal it, too.

Lucas said...

"Also, agents seized 141,440 rounds of ammunition and 443 firearms, according to the Justice Department."

Who did they seize these weapons from? Were they charged? Are they Mexican Nationals? US Citizens? Where did these seizures occur? Were they from FFL Dealers? Individuals?

dirty harry said...

I guess we should make buying guns even harder for Texas citizens so that whenever the Mexican crime element is ready, all they have to do is float across the river and ask us for the keys because without any weapons, we darn sure won't be a threat to them.

But just remember, illegal aliens pose no threat to this country whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

Houston, we have a problem. I wonder if Whitmire knows what's going on in his back yard?

Anonymous said...

The funniest part is that Jim Pruett, a former (thank God) Houston radio personality, has a gun store and in his advertisements on the radio he says "protect yourself from terrorists, drug dealers, (blah blah, blah, insert scare tactic here)", when his gun store has been directly linked to guns used by the cartels.

That's some deal. Sell guns to the drug dealers, and then advertise to Houstonians telling them to look out and buy guns from him because the drug dealers have guns!

dirty harry said...

Anonymous 10/02/2009 05:44:00 PM said:
"The funniest part is that Jim Pruett, a former (thank God) Houston radio personality, has a gun store and in his advertisements on the radio he says "protect yourself from terrorists, drug dealers, (blah blah, blah, insert scare tactic here)", when his gun store has been directly linked to guns used by the cartels."

So? "Directly linked" in what way? Were drug dealers caught with guns that were stolen from individuals that originally bought them from Pruett? If so, that's a pretty lame "link."

Anonymous said...

No, guns were found on people with links to the cartels, some of whom paid several thousand dollars for guns, in cash, several at a time or in rapid succession.

Look, I'm a gun owner, and you can take mine when you pry it from my cold dead hands. But, nuts like Pruett, and evidently you, are going to be responsible for increased regulation of guns. To date Obama has left it alone. But if you keep arguing that people should be able to buy what they want and sell them as fast as they want, essentially being a gun broker to the cartels, you're only going to make an ass of yourself.

And do you really believe that small town cop really had his guns stolen, when he had them all in his car one day, and went to Mexico the next? Give me a break.

dirty harry said...

Anonymous said...
"No, guns were found on people with links to the cartels, some of whom paid several thousand dollars for guns, in cash, several at a time or in rapid succession."

That still doesn't establish whether they were stolen, second-hand, or sold by Pruett directly. And, just because these people were "linked to the cartels" does that mean they were actually doing business with the cartels? Or, were they just delivering their morning paper? If we are going to seek prosecution against certain individuals, let's make sure we get the right ones and cure the problem.

"But, nuts like Pruett, and evidently you, are going to be responsible for increased regulation of guns."

How so? So far, this was America the last time I checked, and it is legal to advertise. The people who will be responsible for increased gun regulation are those who keep insisting that the US Constitution be twisted and deformed to make up for lax law enforcement.

"But if you keep arguing that people should be able to buy what they want and sell them as fast as they want, essentially being a gun broker to the cartels, you're only going to make an ass of yourself."

That's not what I'm arguing, but since you mentioned it, I recently bought a couple more firearms to add to my collection. I hadn't bought any in quite awhile. The experience of buying firearms under the new background check laws opened my eyes to something. That is, if there are any more hoops that law-abiding citizens and dealers have to jump through to purchase/sell guns, it will soon reach the point that selling firearms will no longer be profitable for the dealers, and being able to legally obtain firearms will be a thing of the past.

"And do you really believe that small town cop really had his guns stolen, when he had them all in his car one day, and went to Mexico the next? Give me a break."

No, I don't. But, the same system that makes it more difficult for you and I to buy guns and ammo, gave this guy the trust and authority to do what he did. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who believes anything the BATFE says at this point deserves whatever happens to them.

Anonymous said...

Legalize Marijuana in Texas! 70 percent of the drug trade is all about Pot! Google the article in Texas Monthly called Texas High Ways. It's a great article!

RAS said...

55 deaths out of how many? How many guns have been traced to Brazil? Europe? Mexico has lost 55 to American guns, how many American lives have been lost due to Mexican drugs? investigate the cop, prosecute the cop, imprison the cop. Lease the rest of us alone, and for Gods sakes don't encourage the ATF! The NRA has published several articles about this. There were a lot of RPGs, frag grenades, machine guns, etc. confiscated by the Mexican authorities; what gun shop did they go to for them?

dirty harry said...

RAS said:
"There were a lot of RPGs, frag grenades, machine guns, etc. confiscated by the Mexican authorities; what gun shop did they go to for them?"

This approach by the powers-that-be to punish law abiding citizens for the sins of criminals accomplishes nothing. You can disarm dishonest people all you want, but you will never disarm criminals as long as you keep failing to enforce the laws already on the books. The only reason the gun-grabbers seek to disarm honest citizens in this matter is because it's easier to oppress honest citizens, and harder to enforce the laws on criminals. They'd rather keep grandma from buying a new pistol, rather than put the thugs in jail who stole her last one, because grandma is easier to deal with.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps one hundred agents from around the country should incorporate a local convenience store or Wal-Mart, or any fast food restaurant in Houston into one of the 276 full scale investigations they are conducting; this is probably the subject of great controversy by all who live in Houston and they might get some sort of clue by just asking a few questions. Unfortunately, since I don’t speak Spanish, I can’t be of any help personally, so I’m really not sure if they are for or against all of this illegal border crossing activity; it may just be a dead end anyway.

Karl Ketzer said...

"High-powered guns"

For the Houston Chronicle, just about any firearm that is black and scary-looking is "high-powered." The truth is that a typical deer rifle is more "high-powered" than an AR-15 or AK-47.

The current big lie around this issue is that supposedly 90% of the firearms seized in Mexico were bought at US gun stores. Obama repeated it, as did 60 Minutes, The New York Times, Associated Press, and our own little sorry excuse for a newspaper here in Houston. The worst part is that they continue to run with this lie even after its falsity is brought to their attention.

See "The Myth of 90 Percent: Only a Small Fraction of Guns in Mexico Come From U.S."
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/elections/2009/04/02/myth-percent-guns-mexico-fraction-number-claimed/

Anonymous said...

FOX news says so!

Anonymous said...

Oh, well! Shoot! ,
(pardon the pun)

If the President and Washington are keeping an eye on this then what could we possibly have to worry about, [Problem Solved]

Anonymous said...

Fox news is an ideological mouth piece for ultra-conservatives (or should I say Republican) arguments against anything sensible. If it comes from Fox news it is not credible as an objective news source.

After listening to that stuff for years just to see what they are saying I cannot figure out why anyone with half a brain would buy into it such nakedly political thinking that simply does not have the best interests of the American people in mind. Every policy response they advocate benefits special interests (read -- economic and business elites) and leaves the rest of us in the dust - health care, deregulation of the banking and financial markets, tort reform, abortion rights, extreme positions on gun rights, war on drugs, punitive laws on everything.

Where is the sensible middle? When do they ever look at the independent evidence about what has or has not been accomplished?

The far right persistent attitude of "my way or the highway" on all issues and demonization of any alternative views is tearing this nation apart by making it impossible to talk with each other as Americans. If we cannot talk with meaningfully with others who disagree and work together to find sensible and reasonable solutions to difficult social, legal, economic, environmental, health, and justice problems the nation and perhaps the world will perish.

Let's try to find some common ground and stop listening to rabid ideologues at the far right or far left -- neither has much to offer. The real world lives in the middle somewhere.

Anonymous said...

End the war on drug and it will alleviate many of the problems in the the article and by those posting on this thread.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with both, 9:34 and 9:37.

The only possible solution to the ridiculous way the left and right [pocket politicians] are ever going to get the message is if we voted them out of office, all of them, every election for at least the next decade, the good, the bad, and the ugly, send a message, we are not interested in your politics, we want responsibility.

RAS said...

Fox News almost always interviews 2 or more at a time with dems and repubs both represented. Ever see Rather do that? The NY times ignored the admitted Marxist czar of Obama's for a week. I can't think of anything signifidant that Fox ignored. Reagan was reelected by the biggest margin in decades, carrying every state but Hawaii. I'll bet he carried less that 20% of the 'good' media's vote.

Anonymous said...

RAS - You did not address the most important question. How do we come together to find sensible solutions when the fanatics at the extremes control the debate.

Sensible solutions require compromise in the public interest. This is one of the most basic definitions of politics and it requires that people set aside rigidity and make compromises with others to meaningfully address the problems faced by citizens, the nation and the world.

When a news outlet becomes the mouth piece for fundamentalists on either side it ceases to be a meaningful news outlet. It has become the propaganda outlet with a singular objective - undercut anything with an alternative point of view taking the "my way or the highway" attitude and politically "kill all those who disagree" with the suggestion that they are unpatriotic or absurd claims (e.g., "death panels"). It is simply the old story over and over "tell a big lie over and over and it becomes the perceived truth."

Fox News crossed that line a long time ago and is no longer credible or objective.

RAS said...

I guess we're stuck with the media so I guess we have to listen to both sides. We also need term limits to get rid of the lifer wealth brokers,(congressmen). I prefer Fox because they present opinions as opinions and give the opposition a chance to rebut. CBS has Dan Rather and Cronkite who cried on air when Carter was kicked out. ABC and NBC refused to air a right wing ad about health care, do you know of any left wing ads they have refused, But I guess all of those ads about Bush were factual and information oriented. As for as solving our problems, I think a friend of mine had the best idea, stop electing Congressmen and have a drawing from a pool of citizens. The ones that don't want the power are the ones I trust most.

RAS said...

Oh yeah, never vote for a lawyaer. Why would anyone trust someone that goes to school for years learning to distort the truth?

doran said...

RAS, you are full of it. Law school is not a place where people learn how to distort the truth. If it was, it wouldn't be so hard to get into and even more difficult to graduate from. Every rightwing blogger and commentor in America could be a lawyer if law school is what you say it is.

Anonymous said...

RAS -- taking your perspective "truth" is your truth. You don't seem to understand or respect the fact that there are multiple truths depending on your perspective. You seem to assume that the only truth worth listening to or seriously considering are the truths that comport with your world view.

We can agree to disagree and still have a civil conversation that respects multiple perspectives and then strives to find common ground which address the problems we face. The problem today is that extremists on both sides (and your positions seem to place you close to the extreme on the right) have captured and coursend the discourse with profound disrespect for the truths that others see.

Those of us somewhere in the middle want to find sensible policy responses -- and this means we have to forego ideology and focus on the evidence to decide what is best in each case.

If you want to have a conversation based on evidence we can have that conversation -- but don't hide behind a rigid belief system that assumes you are always right and everyone else is always wrong.

With good faith and a sincere heart people of differing perspectives can and do find common ground. It starts with being humble and recognizing that you may be wrong and your truth is only your truth. Don't assume it is truth for everyone else.

dirty harry said...

The whole idea of "seeking common ground" on the drugs & guns issue is rediculous. I don't think that making law-abiding citizens jump through multiple hoops to own firearms and ammo is in the public interest. It certainly isn't in my interest, and I'm a law-abiding, taxpaying citizen. However, I'm sure there are those that disagree. I think something that would be in the public interest is cracking down on illegal immigration, and taking a a hard line stance against violent drug related crimes. However, as before, I'm sure there are those that disagree.

So, where's the common ground? The common ground these days seems to be where the politicians and criminals win, and the taxpayer who pays the bills loses. To hell with the common ground.

Anonymous said...

"To hell with common ground..." Without common ground we will be in constant warfare - one with another. I guess that is what you want.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dirty Harry,

Your statement "To hell with common ground" is profoundly disrespectful and as others have noted communicates "my way or the highway" to everyone else.

Why don't you try joining in a discussion without an assumption of superiority. No one responds well to that. If you make reasonable arguments that respect others people will listen and perhaps hear what you have to say. Until then, your attitude undercuts everything you post.

RAS said...

10:50 I know you want to compromise and have a meaningful dialogue, but you haven't stated an opinion on any topic. As far as these multiple truths, you sound like Clinton. Multiple opinions, maybe multiple solutions, but THE truth is the truth. Do you think OJ's lawyers were obsessed with exposing the truth? or the mesothelioma lawyers? Are all of these convicts getting turned loose because of DA's devotion to truth?

Anonymous said...

RAS and Dirty Harry,

You both have a very narrow concept of truth as if you were the only arbitor of truth. Unless you are talking replicatable scientific truth which is testible and may be falsified (i.e., proven objectively wrong) -- everything else devolves to opinions of one form or another. Your truths are neither objective, testible or disprovable. If that is the truth you are talking about then it is your opinion and your opinion is no better or worse than anyone elses opinion.

Those of us in the middle somewhere only want some respect for other points of view and a willingness to consider that you may be wrong. The question is where does the weight of the evidence lie. If it lies with your arguments I might agree with you. On the other hand, if it lies with those who hold other perspectives I would hope you could come down off your high horse and acknowledge it.

But that may be too much to ask from either of you.

The is no sigular claim to truth in any religion, in any political perspective or even in science as scientific truth is something that simply has not yet been disproven.

Think before you write... the truth you reveal about yourself is not pretty.

dirty harry said...

To all those who think I have somehow defiled the "common ground" let me remind you that the REAL common ground was reached when we used the legislative process to enact laws against illegal immigration, unlawful use and distribution of narcotics, and the violence that accompanies each. When I see these laws enforced with enthusiasm and purpose, then I'll give some credence to the idea of "common ground." Until then, I'll continue to view the idea of "common ground" for what it really is: just an excuse to take advantage of honest people to pursue a perverted agenda.

Anonymous said...

Immigration and the war on drugs are separate issues.

All the enthusiasm and purpose you speak of only serves to solidify the black market, the legislative process itself is grossly tainted by politicians whose concerns are measured by selfish objectives to gain and hold political office.

Mainstream media has always been bias, so those who share the perspectives of any particular media source also shares in that bias, drawing conclusions based on the information given still boils down to who seems more credible in their reporting.

Taking the middle ground and using it to claim some sense of sensibility is ok as long it doesn’t fall into passivism.

There’s still truth in the statement, “if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything.”

I’ve said it before and it deserves repeating, Grandpa always said, “If you have to ask yourself if something is right or wrong it’s probably wrong.”

This country is in trouble, and that’s a fact. The Democratic Party had an opportunity to show leadership and so far they have failed miserably and that’s a fact. The high ideals of the far left that infiltrate the Democratic Party all the way to the middle are simply not affordable and that’s a fact. If they don’t come out of the clouds and realize that they won and were given control because Americans didn’t like having things that didn’t taste good shoved down our throat, they will soon find out in the mid term.

More people make claim to the middle than you realize, but that has never meant “can’t we all just get along,” more often it simply means we are sick and tired of the BS.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that O’Reilly stages arguments; taking the side of those he doesn’t agree with to appear fair and balanced so that other Fox reporters can provide better arguments to the contrary; only to have O’Reilly say things like I see your point. Likewise, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Democratic agenda is a pathetic joke, and they have no intention of giving anything but lip service to the American people, while they blatantly pretend to be searching for the answers, all the while storming head on, leading us into the light of a freight train.

The political romance and dance to court the Hispanic vote at the expense of properly securing our boarders post September 11th is a disgrace, and continues to be so with the new administration. The inability of what used to be the most powerful country on Earth to properly take action in the wake of Katrina is a disgrace, and gives us all a reason to be afraid of our ability to handle any natural disaster, certainly what would come from another terrorist action. The war on drugs is a disgrace in that we fuel it in every way possible by enabling a black market to exist. We borrow and print money when we have oil reserves that should have been tapped years ago. These are basic and fundamental to our society and we continue to spend resources on things like trying to figure out how a handful of guns got to Mexico, they were probably commissioned by our tax dollars and shipped by Acorn, for God sake who cares, 7.2 million people are out of work and our answer is extend unemployment benefits. Start drilling.

RAS said...

2:15 Securing the border would go a long way toward solving both problems, everything else I can agree with.

Anonymous said...

Makes no sense for any frugal cocaine cowboy to buy expensive guns in Texas when he can get all the rpgs, sub guns and squad automatic weapons he might need at Hugo's Cut Rate Armas and Ammo or one of several com block countries still selling off decades of inventory, or even from the local policia. No sense at all. I thought this canard had been debunked months ago. Guess the guys & gals at batfe clubhouse just don't want to go up against the real badguys.

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Arizona foreclosures said...

Who did they seize these weapons from? Were they charged? Are they Mexican Nationals? US Citizens? Where did these seizures occur? Were they from FFL Dealers? Individuals?
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darrell said...
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