“In the second violent crime connected with the failed Fast and Furious program, two Arizona undercover police officers were allegedly assaulted last year trying to stop two men in a stolen vehicle containing two weapons linked to the program,” azstarnet.com reports. “The Arizona Department of Public Safety officers said they tried to stop the men south of Phoenix when the driver rammed their cars, threatened them with the firearms and fled into the desert. They were caught and arrested, and a Beretta pistol and AK-47 semiautomatic assault rifle were found in the stolen Ford truck, police said.” Question: what happened after that?
The driver, Angel Hernandez-Diaz, 48, was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, driving a stolen vehicle and illegal possession of weapons. He pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to stand trial in Pinal County next month. The passenger, Rosario Zavala, 30, of Mexico, was charged with possession of narcotics and the stolen vehicle.
[Click here for the indictment.]
The episode came five months after the start of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Fast and Furious program, in which agents allowed the illegal purchase of weapons to try to track the firearms to Mexican drug cartels. And it occurred nine months before the slaying last December of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry south of Tucson.
What’s it with that “try to track the firearms to Mexican cartels” thing? The evidence is incontrovertible: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (and Really Big Fires) made no attempt to keep track of the weapons sold under their watchful gaze after the guns were purchased illegally, in some cases by known felons.
Alternatively, they succeeded in tracking the firearms to Mexican cartels. Crime scene incidents just like this one gave them proof that the guns went to Mexican drug cartels, as planned. Oh wait. We don’t know if Hernandez-Diaz and Zavala worked for a cartel. And they weren’t in Mexico. Huh.
The LA Times reports that both men are Mexican nationals. And here’s something interesting: given the weapons confiscated by “an elite Arizona Department of Public Safety law enforcement unit” (the Arizona Vehicle Theft Task Force) Hernandez-Diaz and Zavala weren’t gun smugglers per se.
The weapons found in the vehicle were the 9-millimeter Beretta, hidden under the front console, and the AK-47 in the back seat. Authorities in Arizona said they were told both weapons were illegally purchased under the Fast and Furious program that began in November 2009. Also in the truck were four boxes of ammunition for the AK-47, a box of 23 9-mm bullets for the Beretta, and four cases of Bud Light beer.
Yes, well, were they the original straw purchasers? Why was there no coordination between the “elite” AZ cops and the ATF prior to now? (“Officials at ATF headquarters and the Justice Department are sifting through records to see whether there are more.”) Or was there?
[Probably not, as the ATF and U.S. Attorney’s office stand accused of letting a grenade smuggler walk across the border with his deadly cargo, amongst other things.]
Meanwhile, here’s a part of the incident that the mainstream media (including Fox) seems to have ignored. ABC15.com reports that this incident was a trigger pull from turning into another Agent Brian Terry-style death.
The ABC15 Investigators have also learned Hernandez Diaz is accused of pointing his weapon at an AZDPS officer. The officer fired a shot at the suspect but did not strike him.
Oh and . . .