U.S. law enforcement officials passed up multiple opportunities to arrest and indict an American who was eventually charged in Mexico with transporting grenade parts from the United States to drug cartels, according to a government review.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said in a report released Thursday that U.S. authorities who were monitoring suspected smuggler Jean Baptiste Kingery employed some of the same flawed strategies and tactics that they used in the controversial “Fast and Furious” gunwalking operation.
According to the review, prosecutors with the U.S. attorney’s office in Arizona repeatedly declined to indict Kingery when they had opportunities to do so in 2010 and 2011. The report also said agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) failed to insist upon strong enforcement action against the suspect.
“[G]iven the seriousness of Kingery’s offenses, his connection to Mexican drug cartels, his residence in Mexico, his drug use, and his repeated, undetected border crossings, Kingery represented a danger to the public and risk of flight,” Horowitz said.