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Mexican Drug Cartel Figures Linked to Gun Smuggling Were Paid FBI Informants

By Richard A. Serrano
Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — Congressional investigators probing the controversial “Fast and Furious” anti-gun-trafficking operation on the border with Mexico believe at least six Mexican drug cartel figures involved in gun smuggling also were paid FBI informants, officials said Saturday.

The investigators have asked the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration for details about the alleged informants, as well as why agents at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which ran the Fast and Furious operation, were not told about them.

The development raises further doubts about the now-shuttered program, which was created in November 2009 in an effort to track guns across the border and unravel the cartels’ gun smuggling networks. The gun tracing largely failed, however, and hundreds of weapons purchased in U.S. shops later were found at crime scenes in Mexico.

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Comment from x1811
Time July 18, 2011 at 1:42 pm

The DEA, ATF, FBI, and other agencies do not tell each other who teir informants. This is standard across most, if not all agencies. Also each agency operates, or tries to operate, informant inside criminal organizations. That is where you get the best intelligence. You do not go looking for intelligence in Mexican Drug Cartels in the local Boy Scout Troop. This article makes the DEA and FBI look as somewhat complicit in some conspiratorial way with the flawed and failed ATF operation.

Comment from jway
Time July 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm

On June 17, 1971, President Nixon told Congress that “if we cannot destroy the drug menace in America, then it will surely destroy us.” After forty years of trying to destroy “the drug menace in America” we still *haven’t* been able to destroy it and it still *hasn’t* destroyed us. Four decades is long enough to realize that on this important issue, President Nixon was wrong! All actions taken as a result of his invalid and paranoid assumptions (e.g. the federal marijuana prohibition) should be ended immediately!

It makes no sense for taxpayers to fund the federal marijuana prohibition when it *doesn’t* prevent people from using marijuana and it *does* incite the awful violence that we read about in the news every day by making criminals incredibly wealthy and inciting the Mexican drug cartels to murder thousands of people every year.

We need legal adult marijuana sales in supermarkets, gas stations and pharmacies for exactly the same reason that we need legal alcohol and tobacco sales – to keep drug dealer criminals out of our neighborhoods and away from our children. Marijuana must be made legal to sell to adults everywhere that alcohol and tobacco are sold.

“There’s something extraordinarily perverse when we’re so concerned about preventing addicts from having access to drugs that we destroy the lives of many times more people, either through untreated pain or other drug war damage”.

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