Two more ATF special agents troubled by Operation Fast and Furious – one who watched supervisors ignore fears an officer would slain by the weapons they weren’t allowed to seize – have settled claims they were retaliated against.
Indeed, F&F was halted after a U.S. border agent was later killed by a gun buyer the ATF could have arrested, but was prevented from doing so.
Larry Alt and Olindo J. “Lee” Casa, two of the employees at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms filed retaliation claims with the Office of Special Counsel. The office said Tuesday they had resolved their cases through mediation. All mediation communications are confidential
Casa testified before congress that on many occassions surveillance teams followed gun buyers to the Phoenix area, watched them buy “devastating weapons” including AK-47 style weapons, .50 caliber rifles and pistols.
“On many of those occasions, the surveillance team would then follow the straw purchasers either to a residence, a public location, or until the surveillance team was spotted by the straw purchasers,” Casa told Congress. “But the end result was always the same – the surveillance was terminated ... without interdicting or seizing the firearms.”
Casa said he and other agents warned superiors of something going wrong, but were ignored. On at least a couple of occasions, Casa said he witnessed a special agent ask supervisors if they were prepared to attend the funeral of slain agent or officer killed with one of the purchased firearms.
“Neither one answered or even seemed concerned by the question posed to them,” Casa testified.
The mediation follows the resolution last month of retaliation claims by ATF whistleblower Peter Forcelli.-- Darren Barbee