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Document drop: ICE faces heat over Tampa gunwalking allegations

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By Michelle Malkin  •  July 13, 2011 12:33 PM

On Monday, I noted brewing questions about a Fast & Furious-like gunwalker operation out of Tampa, Florida, that allegedly put weapons in the hands of MS-13 gangsters in Honduras.

House Republicans are turning up the heat on several agencies.

Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-09), a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, sent a letter yesterday to AG Eric Holder and ATF Acting Director Kenneth E. Melson demanding answers about the so-called Operation Castaway. He followed up today with a letter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director John Morton.

Just a reminder that investigative bloggers at Sipsey Street Irregulars and David Codrea, who broke the Tampa stories, could not confirm from their sources that Operation Castaway was tied to the Tampa gunwalking allegations, but they report that two sources are pointing to ATF misdeeds that led to 200 firearms ending up in Honduran hands. Here’s where they are:

We went with what our central source (who was closest to the source of the story than anyone else) said, which was that although he was certain of gunwalking to Honduras he was not certain it was a part of the Castaway operation.

…Whether or not the Tampa-to-Honduras gunwalking was a part of, or spin-off of, Operation Castaway, I had a long exchange of information with two of our sources on the Tampa nexus of the Gunwalker Scandal and ATFSA’s non-denial denial of Tampa gunwalking last night. They had both solid confirmation that it took place and more allegations of misdeeds on the part of Virginia O’Brien, Tampa Field Division SAC and the ATF Chief Counsel’s Office in DC.

“The Honduras story is solid,” one source said. Not only that, but it seems the “walked” firearms, amounting to about 200 (not 1000 as has been reported), “were surveilled by agents to Honduras ‘on the walk,'” all the way through to the point where “they watched the delivery.”

Read the Bilirakis letters below:

Operation Castaway 2011-07-12(function() { var scribd = document.createElement(“script”); scribd.type = “text/javascript”; scribd.async = true; scribd.src = “http://www.scribd.com/javascripts/embed_code/inject.js”; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(scribd, s); })();

Operation Castaway ICE 2011 07 13(function() { var scribd = document.createElement(“script”); scribd.type = “text/javascript”; scribd.async = true; scribd.src = “http://www.scribd.com/javascripts/embed_code/inject.js”; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(scribd, s); })();

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