After the publication of this article, other reports circulated that the weapon spotted in Mexico was actually a Swedish-made AT-4 anti-armor system, which the U.S. has also shipped to Ukraine. Headline USA has updated the headline of this story, but has kept the article otherwise intact.
(Ken Silva, Headline USA) A Mexican news outlet reported Wednesday that an alleged member of the Cartel Del Golfo obtained an American-made Javelin anti-tank missile—the same weapon the U.S. has been sending to Ukraine to fight Russia.
The report raises questions of whether U.S. weapons are being diverted to Mexican cartels. Given the government’s long history of flooding the streets with illegal weapons, this possibility shouldn’t be discounted.
The most prominent example of the U.S. sending weapons to drug cartels is the Obama-era Operation Fast and Furious scandal, which entailed the ATF purposely allowing firearms dealers to sell marked weapons illegally with the goal of tracking them to Mexican drug cartels. The operation turned into a major scandal in 2010, when one of the firearms was used to murder Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
Fast and Furious-linked weapons have been implicated in at least 69 killings, and were likely used in the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks, according to Judicial Watch.
However, the ATF’s Fast and Furious fiasco has a lesser-known precursor called Patriot Conspiracy, or PATCON—a 1990s-era FBI operation, where undercover agents posed as right-wing militiamen trafficking in stolen military equipment.
PATCON is connected to Fast and Furious because both used one of the same gun stores—the Arizona-based Lone Wolf Trading Company—and both involved Eric Holder, who was assistant attorney general during the former operation and attorney general during the latter.
Information about PATCON comes from whistleblower John Matthews, a former FBI informant who worked in that operation.
According to Matthews, AR-15 rifles from the Lone Wolf gun store were converted from semiautomatic to fully automatic by an undercover FBI agent.
“Those guns went to bikers who were selling drugs on the border,” Matthews said in a 2013 email, which was obtained by Headline USA. “Those drugs were be-leave [sic] to be coming in from China.”
PATCON not only included Fast and Furious-type gun-walking tactics. It also entailed heavy duty military equipment.
According to extremism researcher JM Berger, the FBI was investigating the theft of Stinger antiaircraft missiles. The person allegedly marketing these stolen stingers was Tom Posey, a CIA asset involved in Iran-Contra.
Berger wrote in a research paper that FBI documents “paint a murky picture, but offer no clear evidence the Stingers had been real.”
However, historian Wendy Painting—who wrote the definitive biography of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh—is also researching PATCON, and she claims to have found evidence suggesting that the Stingers were, in fact, real. Painting is working on another book where she will presumably present her evidence about this.
Meanwhile, guns from Fast and Furious continue to wreak havoc.
Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., revealed during an April congressional hearing that one of the Fast and Furious guns has recently been used in a crime. Biggs didn’t provide details of this crime, but said the ATF is now questioning the firearms dealer from which the gun emanated.
ATF director Steven Dettelbach said during the same hearing that he doesn’t know how many Fast and Furious guns remain unaccounted for.
If Dettelbach’s ATF is actually investigating this issue, they’d better look into the Javelin spotted in Mexico.
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.