Issa, Grassley Press for Additional Information on Death of ICE Agent Zapata, Tactics Used in Texas

October 26, 2011

WASHINGTON – Congressman Darrell Issa and Senator Chuck Grassley are pressing for additional information into the murder of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata and the tactics used while conducting surveillance on known straw purchasers, raising concerns similar to policies of Operation Fast and Furious out of the Phoenix office.

The letter explains the inconsistent statements by the Justice Department regarding Otilio Osorio, his brother Ranferi Osorio, and Kelvin Morrison.  The three straw purchasers were known to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, long before one of the guns purchased by the brothers was linked to the murder of Agent Zapata.

To make matters worse, Grassley and Issa wrote in their letter that documents indicate the ATF failed for more than three months to create a Report of Investigation on the November 9 transfer of firearms between the brothers and Morrison and a confidential informant, witnessed by ATF agents.  The report was finally written on February 25, 2011—the same day the ATF received the report tracing the Zapata murder weapon back to the purchase by Otilio Osorio.

Grassley and Issa said that documenting investigative steps three months after the fact and only after a trace returned to the murder of a federal agent raises red flags about the nature of ATF’s investigation.

Here is a copy of the text of today’s letter from Grassley and Issa, and here is a signed copy of the letter.  Also, click here to read Grassley’s March 4, 2011 letter and here to read the March 28, 2011 letter.  Here is a copy of the Justice Department’s latest response.

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