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March 22, 2013

Report on 'Fast and Furious' Highlights Problems at DHS & ICE

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement in response to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report on DHS's involvement in 'Operation Fast and Furious'. The report, entitled "DHS Involvement in OCDETF Operation Fast and Furious" (OIG-13-49), found that DHS and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) senior officials had no awareness of the methodology being used by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) until the Operation had almost concluded.

However, the report also found that while certain ICE Homeland Security Investigations personnel in Arizona knew that the Operation violated ICE's policy and practices for weapons smuggling investigations, ICE's Special Agent in Charge did not read reports of the investigation, understand the Operation violated ICE policy, direct the ICE Special Agent participating in the Operation to change his activities, or pursue viable investigative leads.

Congressman Thompson released the following statement on the report:

"This report highlights that while ICE's role in Operation Fast and Furious was limited, the Operation clearly violated ICE policy regarding weapons smuggling investigations. The OIG's conclusions about the lack of support or oversight by ICE leadership in Arizona of the ICE Special Agent involved in the Operation are very troubling, as is the failure of ICE leadership in Arizona to report serious problems with the Operation to ICE headquarters. ICE headquarters' subsequent action to clarify policy when ICE personnel participate in interagency task forces is a step in the right direction, but comes too late to address ICE's role in Fast and Furious."

Link to report

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978