Another Operation to Smuggle Guns Into Central America Possibly Uncovered

The isn’t even beginning to settle for “Operation Fast and Furious” and now another plan that may have resulted in guns being smuggled from the United States into Central America has been uncovered. “Representative” Gus Bilirakis has inquired with Attorney General Eric Holder on whether or not “Operation Castaway” may have resulted in guns being allowed to cross into Honduras:

Bilirakis expressed concern about reports that the strategy “may not have been limited to weapons trafficking to Mexico.”

He asked Holder and Melson whether “similar programs included the possible trafficking of arms to dangerous criminal gangs in Honduras with the knowledge of the ATF’s Tampa Field Division” and a Justice Department office, via Castaway.

Bilirakis’ letter specifically asked whether the Tampa division participated in a “gun walking” scheme allowing guns to go to Honduras. He also asked whether ATF or DOJ know if any of the firearms ended up in the hands of the “notorious” MS-13 gang — a violent gang spread across Central America, Mexico and the United States.

Obviously the Department of Justice (DoJ) and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) are denying that Castaway has any similarities to Fast and Furious but I found something interesting to note:

The lengthy court document states that the ATF noticed Crumpler’s numerous purchases in a national firearms database — it turned out he was later selling them at gun shows. According to the plea agreement, the ATF had an undercover agent buy from Crumpler and later observed the suspect at several gun shows in late 2009, selling to numerous buyers without a license. At one point, he told an undercover agent that he knew the firearms were making their way to Honduras.

Emphasis mine. I wonder what national database they’re talking about. According to United States law all records pertaining to National Criminal Instant Background Check System (NICS) checks must be destroyed if the person buying passes. This leads me to question what kind of information the federal government is maintaining on firearm purchases and how legal that information is under federal law (not that the federal government gives who shits about what is legal).

What will be interesting is whether or not the ATF allowed guns falling under the scope of Castaway to knowingly enter Honduras. Catching the ATF red-handed in two illegal operations certainly wouldn’t reflect highly on their agency.