Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) are again pressing the Justice Department for more information about the 2011 slaying of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata.
The lawmakers sent a letter to Inspector General Michael Horowitz Tuesday, asking the Justice Department to open an investigation into the murder of Zapata on Feb. 15, 2011.
Zapata was shot and killed while driving an SUV with diplomatic plates along a highway in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, where he was on assignment. The letter states the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives may have had probable cause to arrest two firearms dealers before they bought and trafficked a weapon used in Zapata’s murder.
“It appears that [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] may have had probable cause to arrest Otilio and Ranferi Osorio on November 9, 2010, when ATF witnessed the Osorio brothers providing 40 weapons with obliterated serial numbers to an undercover ATF informant in a Wal-Mart parting lot for the purpose of trafficking the weapons to Mexico,” the letter contends.
The letter continues, saying “[o]nly after Agent Zapata was murdered on February 15, 2011, and one of the weapons was traced back on February 25, 2011, to Otilio Osorio did ATF finally arrest Otilio, his brother Ranferi, and Kelvin Morrison.”
Two months before Zapata’s murder, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot while on duty in Arizona near the Mexican border. Two rifles allegedly trafficked by suspects under surveillance in ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious were found at the scene of Terry’s death.