Federal agents hunt for guns, one house at a time


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Yoda
July 1, 2009, 11:12 AM
From the article:

In front of a run-down shack in north Houston, federal agents step from a government sedan into 102-degree heat and face a critical question: How can the woman living here buy four high-end handguns in one day?

The house is worth $35,000. A screen dangles by a wall-unit air conditioner. Porch swing slats are smashed, the smattering of grass is flattened by cars and burned yellow by sun.

“I’ll do the talking on this one,” agent Tim Sloan, of South Carolina, told partner Brian Tumiel, of New York.

Success on the front lines of a government blitz on gunrunners supplying Mexican drug cartels with Houston weaponry hinges on logging heavy miles and knocking on countless doors. Dozens of agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — sent here from around the country — are needed to follow what ATF acting director Kenneth Melson described as a “massive number of investigative leads.”

...Among other things, the agents are combing neighborhoods and asking people about suspicious purchases as well as seeking explanations as to how their guns ended up used in murders, kidnappings and other crimes in Mexico.

...The ATF recently dispatched 100 veteran agents to its Houston division, which reaches to the border.

The mission is especially challenging because, officials say, that while Houston is the number one point of origin for weapons traced back to the United States from Mexico, the government can’t compile databases on gun owners under federal law.

Agents instead review firearms dealers’ records in person.

People who are legally in the United States and have clean criminal records, but are facing economic problems are often recruited by traffickers to buy weapons on their behalf in order to shield themselves from scrutiny...

Here's the link:
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/6505651.html

- - - Yoda

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Tommygunn
July 1, 2009, 12:28 PM
Being discussed at http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=459581

CoRoMo
July 1, 2009, 12:33 PM
duplicate

Larry Ashcraft
July 1, 2009, 12:34 PM
Closed as duplicate.

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