The Star Tribune in Minneapolis, MN has been running another series of investigative journalism, this one on gun running from Minnesota to Mexico.
I've been following it the last couple of days and posting the first two in the series, they've finally put up part three and four today. I'm combining all four as one post with some added recent reports that also came out in the last few days but on same issue, they all follow below.
This gets extremely little play in this country but Especially by the intolerant racists who totally ignore it's even going on!
In small-town Minnesota, folks knew him as the ex-bullfighter who was a family man, a soccer dad. What they didn't know was that he was buying firearms here and smuggling them into Mexico.
Paul Giovanni de la Rosa sat in his silver Town and Country minivan and waited to be waved through to Mexico. The outbound lanes on Lincoln Juarez Bridge No. 2 are almost always long -- 30,000 vehicles pass through this busy border crossing each day. But in trip after trip over three years, de la Rosa had no trouble getting through with appliances, furniture and clothing he brought from Minnesota.
Each time, he was asked at the Laredo Port of Entry whether he was transporting guns or ammunition or cash. Each time he said, "No." He had never been pulled over for a more rigorous inspection. Until now. Continued
AIR DATE: June 16, 2010
For more on the deadly war that rages along the U.S.-Mexico border and the United States' role in fueling the drug trade, Ray Suarez talks with Allert Brown-Gort of Notre Dame University and Andrew Selee of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Transcript
And this interesting tidbit as to the mindset of the 'patriots?' on this side of the border.
June 16, 2010 The man who owns a bounty hunting firm tracking Minuteman founder Chris Simcox is himself a former Minuteman, one who has personal beef with Simcox.
Simcox, who co-founded the Minuteman Project in 2005 to protect the U.S.-Mexico border from illegal immigrants, has been court-ordered to stay away from his ex-wife and to surrender his firearms to the Scottsdale Police Department. His ex-wife requested the order after, she says, Simcox pointed a gun at her and threatened to kill her and her children.
Stacey O'Connell was once the director of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps' Arizona chapter. He left in 2007 after accusing the Minutemen of misusing and hiding finances, and he has called for a criminal investigation O'Connell said Simcox's ex-wife hired him.
O'Connell muses why Simcox is running from a restraining order: "It's an embarrassment to him ... He also enjoys, is proud of his firearms. he doesn't want to have those taken away."
Simcox -- who is also an erstwhile Senate candidate and a former adviser to J.D. Hayworth's Senate campaign -- could not be reached for comment. Continued
June 17, 2010 As federal officers took their time searching Paul Giovanni de la Rosa's silver minivan, a steady stream of motorists passed by, unaware that anything beyond a routine inspection was happening at the side of the road.
They had no reason to suspect that the man waiting as the agents combed through his van was among what federal officials say is a growing number of American gunrunners who supply the rich bosses of the Mexican drug cartels with firearms they cannot obtain in their own country.
Each day this iron pipeline pumps 2,000 firearms into Mexico, into the hands of drug lords protecting a narcotics trade worth as much as $30 billion a year, Mexican officials say. Continued
Elizabeth Flores, Dml - Star Tribune
A statue marks the Cabelas store near Owatonna where Paul Giovanni de la Rosa purchased many of the weapons he transported to Mexico.
June 17, 2010 A web spun of paperwork, money transfers and cell phone calls ultimately brought authorities down on Paul de la Rosa.
Special Agent Pete Vukovich walked up to the gun counter at Cabela's in Owatonna. All around him, people were shopping for firearms -- for hunting, for protection, for sport. There was even a room for vintage firearms.
Vukovich was seeking information about a frequent customer whose buying habits didn't feel right.
Employees there had told agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that over the past year or so, Paul Giovanni de la Rosa had bought 31 firearms on 12 occasions. Nine times he had paid with cash -- from $588.48 to $2,268.32 per visit.
Agents spent two years employing every device at hand to understand how de la Rosa might fit into the growing trade of people legally buying guns in the United States and illegally smuggling them to powerful drug cartels in Mexico.
"These guns are not just coming from Texas and Arizona," said Bernard Zapor, special agent in charge of the ATF's St. Paul Field Division. "They're coming from places like Minnesota and Colorado." Continued
**""Employees there had told agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that over the past year or so, Paul Giovanni de la Rosa had bought 31 firearms on 12 occasions. Nine times he had paid with cash -- from $588.48 to $2,268.32 per visit.""**
Let the above sink in, though way to many will find nothing wrong with this in our gun loving society. These were readily sold without question, obviously, without thinking of contacting the ATF and report what normally would have been questionable amounts of firearms purchases especially in such a short period, even without thinking of possible gunrunning to Mexico, except from the South West gun shops! This is going on all over this country, gun lovers, way too many are frankly incompetent and immature adults, are stocking armories of weapons and stroking them with twisted love and passion and packing loaded for security? in a democracy while calling others, considered enemies certainly not friends nor allies, terrorist for using weapons to fight off occupiers or those that suppress them in their lands!
June 17, 2010 Guns from America sustain Mexican drug cartels' insatiable appetite for firepower and fill the cemeteries with young men.
Father Anthony Anderson doesn't have to imagine the impact of guns flowing into his town from Minnesota and other states.
He hears the gunshots out his window every week.
In 10 years, "Padre Antonio" has lowered more young men into Del Norte cemetery than he can count. He carries a little black book in which he has scribbled the names of dozens of parishioners who have gone not-so-mysteriously missing.
"A man was killed there," he says, pointing to the right as he drives his creaky Ford pickup through the sun-baked streets of town. "Several others were shot down there," he adds, pointing to the left as he runs a stop sign.
Guns from Minnesota and other states, delivered into the hands of the powerful drug cartels, are used here as tools of intimidation, allowing the cartels' illegal enterprise to flourish unchecked. Continued
And the Biggest Number of Customers in the World of Drug Needs are right here in this Country, many being gun owners, legal and illegal!