Agent Brian Terry was mortally wounded on Dec. 14, 2010, in a firefight north of the Arizona-Mexico border between U.S. agents and five men who had sneaked into the country to rob marijuana smugglers.
Federal authorities conducting “Fast and Furious” have faced tough criticism for allowing suspected straw gun buyers for a smuggling ring to walk away from gun shops in Arizona with weapons, rather than arrest them and seize weapons.
The lawsuit filed Thursday and made publicly available on Friday came from Terry’s parents against six managers and investigators for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The family also sued a federal prosecutor who had previously handled the case but is no longer on it, and the owner of the gun store where two rifles found in the firefight’s aftermath were bought.
The family alleges that the ATF officials and federal prosecutor created a risk to law enforcement officers such as Terry and that the firearms agents should have known their actions would lead to injuries and deaths to civilians and police officers in America and Mexico.
The rest of the story is messed up as they say the operation was “botched” and ignore that the intent was to send guns to the cartels.
The 72-page lawsuit filed last week claims the defendants “created, organized, implemented and/or participated in a plan – code named ‘Operation Fast and Furious’ – to facilitate the distribution of dangerous firearms to violent criminals” and that they “knew or should have known that their actions would cause substantial injuries, significant harm, and even death to Mexican and American civilians and law enforcement, but were recklessly indifferent to the consequence of their actions.”
Those being sued are:
- Bill Newell, then-Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Phoenix office where Fast and Furious was based.
- George Gillett, then-Assistant Special Agent in Charge of ATF in Phoenix.
- David Voth, then-leader of the ATF group that executed Fast and Furious.
- Hope MacAllister, the lead ATF group agent on the case.
- Tonya English, an ATF agent in the group.
- William McMahon, the ATF supervisor in charge of field operations at the time.
- Emory Hurley, the lead prosecutor for the Department of Justice on the case working for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Phoenix.
- Andre Howard, owner of Lone Wolf Trading Company gun shop, which was cooperating with ATF agents in Fast and Furious and sold at least two of the rifles later believed trafficked to Mexican drug cartels and used in the murder of Agent Terry.
- Lone Wolf Trading Company is also named in the suit.
Noteworthy is that Lone Wolf was worried about this to begin with, as were other gun dealers. It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out and how the ATF tries to throw him under the bus.