Stories like Mike Detty's put a face to the endless effort of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to curb gun smuggling across border from U.S. to Mexico. CBS News' The Early Show has a fascinating account of Detty, a licensed gun dealer, who was tapped by the ATF to become an informant in 2006 affiliated with the agency's "Operation Wide Receiver." His job was to sell the cartels weapons and secretly record conversations with an audio device which was "sometimes hidden in a box of Kleenex," he told the show. Unfortunately, in what wasn't an isolated incident, the ATF agents didn't recover the guns. And he told his story to the news outlet because of it:
Detty came forward after things didn't work out as Detty had thought they would. Detty says he realized ATF was letting guns "walk" and instead of helping to take down cartels, he'd helped ATF arm them. ...
... Detty said, "It really makes me sick."
In the video below, Detty's story is told as if ATF agents told him that the guns would never hit the street. As CBS News points out, the operation occurred during the Bush administration and predated the recent "Fast and Furious" scandal.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.