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By Lee Williams

Isaac Hernandez, a 25-year-old American citizen who had been living in Mexico, will spend the next six years in a federal prison contemplating the errors of his ways.

On July 11, 2022, Hernandez was stopped while traveling southbound on I-35 heading toward the Laredo, Texas Port of Entry. Officials found 17 handguns in his car. Further investigation revealed that from Jan. 21, 2020 to July 11, 2022, Hernandez had purchased 231 handguns — 9mm’s, .380’s and .22’s — which officials suspect he smuggled into Mexico.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez sentenced Hernandez to 80 months in prison for violating the Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act.

“Hundreds of firearms likely ended up in the hands of Mexican cartel members thanks to Hernandez’s firearms trafficking, only worsening the ongoing gun violence terrorizing the citizens of Mexico and the United States,” U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani said in an ATF press release. “He worked with a contact in Mexico who instructed him on the type and number of firearms to purchase. Hernandez’s actions exemplify why laws such as the Trafficking in Firearms Act are so important.”

Then, as you would expect, the ATF had to weigh in.

“This was a textbook case of trafficking firearms to Mexico,” ATF Special Agent in Charge Fred Milanowski said in the press release. “Firearms trafficking is illegal and immoral. Unfortunately, the consequences of a firearm illegally possessed in the United States and Mexico can cause danger and harm for decades. As demonstrated by this case, we will continue to investigate and prosecute gun traffickers who endanger the lives of law-abiding citizens in our communities.”

Illegal and immoral…danger and harm for decades.

Yes, the Mexican drug cartels certainly pose a clear and present danger to the security of the United States, so arming them would be foolish and wrong. But SAC Milanowski failed to mentioned that there was once a much larger firearms trafficking conspiracy that allowed thousands of firearms to walk across the border and end up in the hands of the drug cartels, including .50 caliber sniper rifles, semi-automatic ARs, AKs and handguns of all types…a much more serious threat than Hernandez’s 9mm’s, .380’s and .22’s.

Operation Fast and Furious was a preposterous plan somehow concocted by ATF’s Arizona Field Office, which ran from 2006 to 2011 mostly in the Phoenix area. According to a series of emails, ATF officials “purposely allowed licensed firearms dealers to sell weapons to illegal straw buyers, hoping to track the guns to Mexican drug cartel leaders and arrest them.” No senior cartel members have ever been charged for possessing ATF’s guns.

Of the thousands of weapons ATF allowed to “walk” across the border, only 700 were ever recovered. One of the firearms was used in the 2010 murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, and others have shown up in crime scenes on both sides of the border. Hundreds of Mexican citizens have been wounded or killed by ATF’s guns.

Brian Terry’s family displays wrist bracelets in Terry’s honor. Family members of Terry, an Arizona U.S. Border Agent killed in connection with a botched gun-smuggling operation, say they won’t have closure until someone is held accountable for his death. (AP Photo/John Miller)

Somehow none of this was mentioned in the recent press release, but SAC Milanowski is certainly not alone in his misremembering the recent past. ATF has always had a selective memory. Their website devotes only one page to the agency’s deadly Waco fiasco, and there is no mention of either Ruby Ridge or Randy Weaver.

Last month, U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) introduced the “Abolish the ATF Act of 2023.” Gaetz cited ATF’s recent pistol brace rule, which could turn more than 40 million Americans into felons overnight, as his main reason for the bill, but those familiar with the agency know there is so much more.

As has been said many times before, no one makes a better case for abolishing the ATF than the ATF.


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This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is published here with their permission.

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  1. Since they’ve identified a few hubdred guns this guy has bought in the last while, hold onto those S/N’s and as those numbers are turned up invlved in criminal activity on either side of the border, open a new charge agaist this guy for trafficking THAT GUN into the criminal pool of illegal guns this guy has trafficked.

    His “gift” that keeps on giving. With a bit of luck he might end up behind bars for a few decades. Charge him with acccessory to the crimes committed with the use of these guns.

  2. Remember. It isn’t hypocrisy. It’s hierarchy. They get to do things you can’t do because they’re above you. Now behave, peasant!

  3. I’m wondering how the ATF had time to even get involved in this. I mean, they spend so much time persecuting and oppressing, and violating the constitution and intentionally violating the rights of, millions of law abiding U.S. citizens daily that you would think they would not have time to worry about a couple hundred citizens of another country that can’t secure its own border and can’t handle its own crime problems.

    • And remember, they’ll have even less time once they devote themselves to processing all those expected SBR registrations from pistol brace owners, and in a timely manner. Because AFT.


  4. Operation Fast and Furious – If ya stop and think about it and apply the gun-control/anti-gun definitions and logic and methodology to it, the ATF has facilitated, aided, indirectly conspired to commit, and colluded in, and caused the biggest mass shooting in history.

    • .40 cal booger — “and caused the biggest mass shooting in history” Are you referring to the Garissa University College Attack or the Las Vegas shooting? And please elaborate on how Operation Fast and Furious caused either one. Thank you.

      • @Miner49er

        “And please elaborate on how Operation Fast and Furious caused either one. ”

        I never said a word about either of those. But there it is again, your out of context trying to imply people are talking about something else that you define to pigeon hole them into one of your grand tours of out of context stupid. Its one of your key defining things.

        All the deaths in Mexico from the guns the ATF trafficked. It was just distributed shootings that’s all, 3 or more at a time mostly, but mass it was and just distributed over time instead of just all in one place unless you count cities as one place.

        • .40 cal,

          Wasn’t even all in the cities. Many of the cartel murders occur in rural areas where the cannabis and cocaine are packaged, processed, grown, etc. But, yeah, our benevolent US government, in its infinite wisdom, was a knowing accomplice and accessory before and after the fact to thousands of murders in Mexico and Central America. And the unprosecuted, lying thug, Eric Holder, still walks around free.

        • Fast and Furious begin under Obama’s administration, on his watch. He even lied about it trying to claim it started under the Bush administration but that was debunked and shown to be a lie (> https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2012/sep/24/barack-obama/barack-obama-said-fast-and-furious-began-under-bus/).

          If gun-control/anti-gun definitions and logic and methodology is applied — Obama literally oversaw and approved and by using the ATF, and the ATF, facilitated, aided, indirectly conspired to commit, and colluded in, and caused the biggest mass shooting in history.

          Applying the gun-control/anti-gun definitions and logic and methodology – there has not been one even .001% the size in terms of victims before or after that. I’d like to see the GVA list that one.

    • Wasn’t the endgame of fast-and-furious to outrage the American public sufficiently with all of the carnage to be caused south-of-the-border by the guns allowed to “walk” by the ATF, that the populace would embrace a new assault weapons ban?

  5. Well it’s not illegal if the Government or politically connected does it. At least that’s the way it seems most of the time….

    The government could bomb a city block and the DoD would find it’s actions legal, the DoJ would just classify everyone killed as domestic terrorists or unlawful combatants and the media would just play highlights of the Superbowl.

    • “The government could bomb a city block”…it’s already been done.

      Search for the 1985 MOVE bombing where a government entity (Philadelphia) bombed and burned down a city block.

      • If you weren’t familiar with the parties involved you would be amazed at how little anyone was outraged at the firebombing of that building.

      • remember that MOVE thing…they had turned that building into a fortress…logs on the roof etc…..Phiily PD ran out of ideas and decided to burn them out…turned out to be a bad idea…

    • I believe that the City of Philtydelphia was just trying get get rid of those old buildings so they could gentrify another neighborhood such as they did with Society Hill

  6. I wonder what the profile of the ATF would look like on a dating site…

    Love walks to a law abiding persons front door without a warrant to accuse them of a crime and try to trick them into letting me in so I can search their home.

    Love showing up at the door of a mom with three kids and terrorizing them with them threats.

    Love drawing down on a dog.

    Love trafficking firearms to the Mexican cartel.

    Love making up definitions for gun stuff pretending I have the authority to do so.

    Love wiping my butt with the constitution.

    My favorite color is opaque.

      • when was the last time they did anything related to alcohol or tobacco?…so, essentially their job is chasing guns…and do we really need an agency to do that?…the laws are on the books…others can enforce them…

  7. Don’t forget folks like Warren and Sanders talk about how bad corporations are because they want you to forget what the government does and how in many cases it pales in comparison.

  8. Pretty sure our involvement AT ALL in Mexico is a bad idea… but I guess this is a start of admitting a fuck up. It’s like our government never learns. They think we can just create chaos and intervene when all you are doing is cutting the head off one snake and watching 3 more come out of the ground.

  9. Reminds me of a movie title for a show I never watched: “The gang, that couldn’t shoot straight!”

    Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone who swore to protect and defend the Constitution was required to read it or better yet recite it from memory without prompting as a precondition to employment! All of those smart Ivy League folks and DC University grads the government has been hiring for the last fifty years should have no problem with that.

    • ATF personnel…particularly the enforcement branch…test consistently low among federal LE…it’s a bit of a dumping ground…

      • that’s because the ATF is not really law enforcement, its just words that say they are law enforcement. They are regulatory orientated by their charter.

        They ATF operates in a law enforcement capacity only by exploiting a grey area loop hole in law that let’s the government ‘deputize’ under color of federal law enforcement, sort of like the government did in using the military for drug interdiction with Customs where the mitary used were actually ‘deputized’ under color of U.S. Customs authority to get around the prohibition of using military to enforce civilian law.

  10. “According to a series of emails, ATF officials “purposely allowed licensed firearms dealers to sell weapons to illegal straw buyers, hoping to track the guns to Mexican drug cartel leaders and arrest them.”

    That’s a LIE! The ATF never had any plans to track and arrest the offenders (purchasers/users) they did however have and instituted a plan to increase the cartel’s “body count” along our southern border and in Mexico in order to use those deaths to further restrict American’s right to buy, own, and use firearms. Remember Barack OBastard’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s mantra ie. “Never let a crisis (we caused) to go to waste (exploit it for sociological & political gain)”.

    • “That’s a LIE!”

      No, that was Operation Wide Receiver, where the put tracking devices in the gun. It failed, obviously and badly, but at least there was a good faith effort (stupid though it was).

      Operation Fast and Furious did the same thing… just without the tracking devices. The admitted purpose was to cause carnage and raise support for gun banning. I mean, it’s just a bunch of brown people in some s___hole country, what do the Democrats care about that? Obviously, they don’t.

      Decent human beings (so, not socialists or Democrats, but I repeat myself) DO care about people getting murdered, without regard to the color of their skin. But somehow, it’s THOSE people who are the racists, and the Democrats who aren’t? Pull the other one, eh?

  11. They are scared of us, deathly afraid of us. Their whole deal is to disarm us and start one world government. That can’t happen till they pull the dog’s teeth.

  12. So, it is not the so called loose gun laws in Red States that is where all those criminals in Blue cities, with Democrat mayors are getting their guns.
    It is Biden’s open border is where they are coming from.
    Secure border, no illegals, no drugs, no guns.
    Makes sense to me.

  13. I wonder though if he was taking the guns South to sell to Mexican citizens unable to purchase firearms for protection from the very cartels he’s accused of supplying. After all, doesn’t Mexico have a single government-run gun store n Mexico City and don’t Mexicans have to jump through hoops to get licensed?


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