CBS News is running a special investigation into the smuggling of firearms to Mexico. US government officials estimate that the cartels are smuggling 2,000 firearms a day across the Mexican border. The way it works is that the cartels alerts buyers in the US who are not prohibited persons of their needs, they transfer the guns to brokers, and then the guns go to smugglers who take the firearms across the border to the cartels. Buyers are reported to be spread across all 50 states.
To combat this, ATF established Project Thor which ran from 2018 until 2021 according to former Senior Special Agent Chris Demlein. Funding for the project ended with the 2022 budget.
Demlein led the first interagency intelligence project aimed at identifying and dismantling the cartels’ international weapons supply chains across the U.S. Within months of its launch on July 25, 2018, the initiative, known as Project Thor, connected the dots between hundreds of disparate law enforcement cases, uncovering vast networks that give these criminal groups on-demand access to American guns. They briefed hundreds of government officials on their discoveries, including the National Security Council and senior Justice Department leadership.
Below is an inforgraphic created by the DEA to show how the smuggling networks operated.
CBS Investigative Reporter Adam Yamaguchi was allowed by a gun smuggler to show how they hid the firearms in a car. The skeptic in me wonders why the cartels would allow this. The report below goes on to say the firearms are used by the drug cartels to protect their trade in drugs like fentanyl, meth, cocaine, and narcotics. It does make note that there is only one official firearms store in Mexico and it is on a military base. He also speaks of “military grade weapons” without acknowledging the role that diversion of firearms from the Mexican military has played.
His video as seen on the CBS Evening News is here.
The full 22 minute CBS Reports documentary can be viewed here.
The last time CBS News investigated arms smuggling to Mexico they did real journalism. That was back in 2011-2013 and the investigative reporter was Sharyl Attkisson who is long gone from CBS. She won an Emmy for her work exposing the role of ATF in Operation Fast and Furious aka Project Gunwalker. That was where ATF made FFLs sell guns to known gun runners so they could supposedly trace them to Mexico. The problem was that they quickly lost track of the firearms and they were used by cartel gunmen to kill two Federal LEOs plus over Mexican nationals.
Lest we forget, this sad episode was actually uncovered by the combined work of citizen journalists David Codrea and the late Mike Vanderboegh. Eventually Congressional hearings were held, DOJ stonewalled, and then AG Eric Holder was found in Contempt of Congress.
For those whom Operation Fast and Furious aka Project Gunwalker is something new, I suggest searching my blog using the term “Gunwalker”. I had quite a few pages devoted to it. Even better is to go to David Codrea’s “A Journalist’s Guide to Project Gunwalker” and follow his posts from the defunct Gun Rights Examiner. You can also go to Mike’s Sipsey Street Irregulars blog. While posting stopped soon after his death from cancer in 2016, the blog is still online and it can be searched.
It is important to remember that whatever the official justification for Operation Fast and Furious was, the real reason was that the Obama Administration wanted to build support for more gun control. Given the number of ex-Obama Administration officials in the Biden Administration, should we expect any less from them? The mainstream media acts even more like the propaganda arm of the administration now than they ever did in the Obama years.