By Steve Neavling
A former investigator for the ATF at the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana is accused of smuggling guns into Mexico while working for the agency in 2017, Reuters reports.
Jose Luis Meneses, a Mexican national, admitted he bought firearms parts online and at a California gun store and transported them into Mexico for profit, according to an ATF memo and a letter sent to the agency’s director, Steven Dettelbach, by U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley.
The allegations were not previously made public.
In the Oct. 18 letter, Grassley accuses the agency of failing to fully investigate the matter.
“If these protected disclosures are true and accurate, they illustrate a failure by the ATF to hold its employees accountable for criminal misconduct,” the letter states.
Firearms coming into Mexico from the U.S. is a major diplomatic issue for Mexico, where nearly 70% of traced guns used to commit crimes and seized in Mexico come from the U.S.
In the letter, Grassley also questioned whether Mexican officials were properly informed of the matter.
A senior Mexican diplomatic official demanded an investigation.
“We will demand they get to the bottom of this in order to bring those responsible to justice and that this type of action never happens again,” the official said.