The fallout from the “Fast and Furious” saga is still costing the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms or ATF, with the latest incident involving a shootout involving grenades that left three policeman and four cartel members dead. The shootout was caught on video by a number of local residents (the most disturbing of which is embedded below, showing schoolchildren cowering under desks as the gun battle rages on). In a document obtained by CBS News, it is revealed that one of the grenades appeared to have been made by an alleged arms-trafficker that the ATF was aware of and allowed to continue to operate.
The Fast and Furious scandal has been a story that has been filled with half-truths and political grandstanding, and not many facts. While most of the evidence points to this being orchestrated by ATF officials at the Phoenix office-level or the US Attorney who oversaw the program, and others suggest the blame goes all the way to Attorney General Eric Holder or President Obama, himself. The ATF denies that it ever intentionally allowed guns to be transported to Mexico, but the practice of allowing known criminals to continue to operate in order to ferret out larger criminals is commonly used.
Jean Baptiste Kingery has been on the ATF’s radar since 2004, according the ATF documents, but it wasn’t until 2009 that the learned he had started dealing in grenades, “weapons of choice for Mexico’s killer cartels.” In 2010, he was captured attempting to smuggle grenade pieces and ammunition into Mexico, “but was again let go when prosecutors allegedly said they couldn’t build a good case.”
He was finally arrested in 2011 in Mexico and there “confessed to teaching cartel members how to build grenades and convert semi-automatic weapons to automatic.” There is no word on whether or not the US is seeking to extradite him from Mexico.