Part of ‘Operation Castaway’?
Exclusive Special Report by Mike Vanderboegh and Dan
Virginia O’Brien, Special Agent in Charge at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Tampa Field Division, ran a gun-running investigation that was walking guns to Honduras using the techniques and tactics identical to Fast and Furious, it was reported to these correspondents this evening via private correspondence from a proven credible source.
On 21 September, 2010, A. Brian Albritton, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida issued a press release on Operation Castaway:
United States Attorney A. Brian Albritton, Virginia O’Brien, Special Agent in Charge of central and northern Florida Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) operations, and Susan McCormick, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations, Tampa Field Office announce the initial results of Operation Castaway, an intensive and wideranging Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) firearms trafficking investigation conducted by ATF, ICE, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, and the Miami-Dade Police Department. ATF describes Operation Castaway as the most significant firearms trafficking investigation in Central Florida history.
According to court documents, a group of defendants connected to Hugh Crumpler, III, were involved in a major international gun trafficking operation. . . . Firearms like those involved in this investigation are often smuggled through Honduras and other Central and South American countries before being used in violent crimes in Mexico and other countries in the region. A number of the firearms trafficked by the defendants in Operation Castaway have been linked to violent crimes around the world.
The press release concluded, “This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys J. Bishop Ravenel and E. Jackson Boggs. Operation Castaway remains an ongoing investigation.”
SAC O’Brien was previously the Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Division, was later promoted to the Deputy Assistant Director of ATF, but then stepped down to the position in Tampa. Whether the allegations of our source refer to the ongoing Operation Castaway remains at this hour unclear, but our source is certain that O’Brien has allowed the “walking” of straw-purchased firearms to Honduras using the same failed strategy as the Phoenix Field Division’s Operation Fast and Furious. That Operation Castaway involved arms smuggling to Honduras is also certain.
“This is confirmed as accurate,” the correspondence continued. “There are emails in existence where O’Brien has advised those involved that Tampa does not have to report their walked guns because Tampa FD is not a part of Southwest Border or Project Gunrunner.”
“From a first person source she is sh*tting herself trying to cover it up,” the report stated.
No one from ATF is available at this late hour to approach for comment. This information has also reportedly been disclosed to Chairman Darrell Issa of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and Ranking Senate Judiciary Committee Member Charles Grassley for follow-up and investigation.
UPDATE (7/7): Vanderboegh asks and answers “Why would ATF walk guns to Honduras?”
A Journalist’s Guide to ‘Project Gunwalker’ Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four for a complete list with links of independent investigative reporting and commentary done to date by Sipsey Street Irregulars and Gun Rights Examiner.
Note to newcomers to this story: “Project Gunrunner” is the name ATF assigned to its Southwest Border Initiative to interdict gun smuggling to Mexico. “Project Gunwalker” is the name I assigned to the scandal after allegations by agents that monitored guns were allowed to fall into criminal hands on both sides of the border through a surveillance process termed “walking” surfaced.
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