Friday, March 20, 2009

U.S. Steel

This should send the Mexican government a clear and unambiguous message: that when it comes to the War on Drugs, the United States is ready to stand by and tell you go fuck yourselves.

With its lenient gun laws and large number of dealers, Arizona is one of the biggest sources of weapons for the drug cartels, which killed 6,000 people in Mexico last year. More than 500 guns recovered by the police in Mexico in 2008 were traced to sellers in the state.

The dealer against whom the charges were dismissed, George Iknadosian, 47, of Glendale, Ariz., had been accused of knowingly selling about 700 weapons through intermediaries to two smugglers, who then shipped them to a drug cartel in the Mexican state of Sinaloa.

Several of the weapons have been recovered in Mexico after shootouts with the police, notably one gunfight last year in which eight officers died in Culiacán, the Sinaloa capital. Federal agents say the smugglers, who have pleaded guilty to lesser charges, recruited at least seven people with clean records as straw purchasers to buy the guns on their behalf, paying them $100 a gun.

But after a week of trial, Judge Robert L. Gottsfield of Maricopa County Superior Court on Wednesday threw out the charges against Mr. Iknadosian, saying no fraud had been committed.

Judge Gottsfield determined that even though the straw buyers had made false statements on federal forms claiming they were buying for themselves, they were legally eligible to buy the weapons, so the deception did not amount to a “material falsification” under state law.

He also asserted that federal gun laws require prosecutors to prove not just that someone lied to a gun dealer to obtain a weapon for someone else, but also that the person who ended up with the gun could not legally buy one.

“There is no proof whatsoever that any prohibited possessor ended up with the firearms,” the judge said in his decision, recorded in the court’s minutes.

Arizona - a freewheeling arms bazaar, where criminality rules and law enforcement officers consider themselves above the law. It's the primary gateway for cocaine entering the United States, a sanctuary for religious nuts, and a breeding ground for terrorists.

At what point can we finally declare Arizona a failed state?


Anonymous said...

That is so beyond disgraceful. Words cannot express enough contempt for that Judge! And for the state of Arizona!


Red In a Blue State said...

Thank God that the Governor of Arizona is in a position where she can do little harm -- the head of HOMELAND SECURITY!!!!

Burro Hall said...

Fortunately, the senior senator from Arizona wound up staying right where he was.

Red In a Blue State said...

It's that goddamn NAFTA! We have to export SOMEthing to Mexico.

Red In a Blue State said...

From AZ Judges review:

GOTTSFIELD, Robert L. Criminal
Lawyers refer to him as "crazy Bob" due to his erratic behavior, but he's fast.
Soft on drug crimes

Burro Hall said...

I'd be hypocritical if I condemned a man for being soft on drug crimes. It's the "soft on accessory to murder" thing that's troubling.