December 19, 2012
A Fast and Furious gun found at the murder scene of Mexican beauty queen Maria Susana Flores, appears to have been purchased by embattled ATF supervisor George Gillett. Flores was used as a human shield before she was shot and killed by Mexican cartels during a shootout with the Mexican military.
According to documents obtained by Senator Chuck Grassley, it appears Gillett purchased a number of different firearms at a gun dealership in Phoenix as part of Operation Fast and Furious. It also appears Gillett lied on 4473 forms by using an address that does not lead to his residence, which is a felony.
Grassley has sent a letter to the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz asking for further investigation. From the letter:
Documentation appears to indicate that during Operation Fast and Furious, Mr. Gillett made multiple firearm purchases at a Federal Firearm Licensee (FFL) in Phoenix. According to the forms, Mr. Gillett appears to have purchased weapons on December 15, 2009, January 5, 2010, and January 7, 2010. Documents show the residence listed on the Firearms Transaction Record (Form 4473) for two of the gun purchases was the local Phoenix ATF office. For the third purchase, Gillett listed a commercial shopping center in Phoenix as his residence. Clearly, the addresses on the forms do not accurately and truthfully reflect Gillett’s actual residence in Phoenix.During his OIG investigation of Operation Fast and Furious, Horowitz found Gillett's judgement and management seriously deficient.
Lying on a Form 4473 is a felony and can be punished by up to five years in prison, in addition to fines. Many individuals who were arrested in Fast and Furious were charged for lying on the Form 4473. Jaime Avila, Jr. recently plead guilty to a variety of charges, including making false statements in connection with the acquisition of a firearm, and his initial arrest just after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s murder was for giving a false address on Form 4473.
One of the most troubling aspects of this new information is that one of the weapons listed as having been purchased by Gillett was recently recovered in Sinaloa, Mexico, the same weekend and in the same area as a shootout between the Mexican military and drug cartel members in Sinaloa, Mexico.
The January 7, 2010, purchase included an FN Herstal 57 Caliber pistol. According to documents, this weapon was recently recovered in an attempted homicide in between Caitime and Mocorito in the Guamuchil area of Sinaloa, Mexico. Mexico’s CENAPI requested the trace from ATF’s National Tracing Center on November 29, 2012, and an initial trace was completed on December 4, 2012. Another trace on the weapon was completed on December 10, 2012, indicating that the purchaser of the weapon was the former ASAC of ATF’s office in Phoenix, George Gillett.