Sen. Grassley also questions a weapons smuggling operation that involved the mayor and chief of police in Columbus, New Mexico. Weapons sezied in Columbus have been linked to eight murders in Ciudad Juarez and Palomas. Palomas is across the border from Columbus, N.M.
“The two were recently indicted as part of a gun trafficking operation involving the mayor of Columbus, New Mexico. Additionally, Grassley is asking about allegations that Customs and Border Protection stopped Jaime Avila, who was recently indicted as the straw purchaser of weapons found at the scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s murder. In both instances, Border Patrol agents allegedly found the gun runners to be in possession of multiple weapons, but let the suspects proceed for unknown reasons.”
On March 16, Sen. Grassley wrote, “CBP officials allegedly stopped Jaime Avila near the border in the spring or summer of 2010. He allegedly had the two WASR-10 rifles in his possession that were later found at the scene of Agent Brian Terry’s murder, along with over thirty additional weapons.”
US soldiers eager to smuggle cocaine in southern Arizona
The exposure that the US allows weapons to cross the border into Mexico, follows sting operations exposing the role of US soldiers in drug running at the border.
The FBI halted a sting operation, Operation Lively Green, in 2006, because so many US soldiers in the Army, Marines and Airforce, wanted to smuggle cocaine from the border at Nogales to Phoenix. The nearly 100 people arrested included high school military recruiters in Tucson, a Nogales police officer and a prison guard. A similar sting operation found US soldiers stationed in Oklahoma ready and willing to smuggle cocaine from the US/Mexico border.
Arizona National Guard involved in Kazakhstan border security
Back in Kazakhstan, the US continues its paternal and corporate role.
US Ambassador Richard Hoagland wrote this cable in February of 2010 that is marked "secret."
"U.S. and Kazakhstani strategic interests are largely aligned on the development of Kazakhstan's vast energy resources. Both sides agree that U.S. and other Western companies must continue playing a lead role in Kazakhstan's energy exploration and production projects, and that diversification of transport routes will bolster Kazakhstan's sovereignty and enable it to capture the maximum benefits of its energy and wealth."
"Kazakhstan produced 88 million tons of oil in 2009 (approximately 1.5 million barrels per day), and is expected to become one of the world's top ten crude exporters soon after 2015. While the country also has significant gas reserves (1.5 trillion cubic meters is a low-end estimate), current gas exports are very limited for now, in part because gas is being reinjected to maximize crude output. U.S. companies (ExxonMobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips) have significant ownership stakes in Kazakhstan's three major hydrocarbon projects, including Kashagan, the world,s largest oil field discovery since Alaska's North Slope," the cable states.
Arizona received $200,000 in funds for participation in the Kazakhstan border and security training partnership.
"This included exchange visits in Arizona and Kazakhstan of firefighting and 911 operations," the cable states.
Center for Public Integrity: ATF allowed weapons allowed into Mexico: