ATF Promotes Agents Who Ran Program Which Let Guns ‘Walk’ To Drug Cartels

August 16, 2011 8:25 am

Three supervisors who ran Operation Fast and Furious, the program which allowed at least 2,000 semiautomatic weapons to be illegally trafficked over the border into Mexico, have been promoted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).Richard A. Serrano reports in the L.A. Times that William G. McMahon, formerly ATF’s deputy director of operations in the West, and ATF Phoenix office supervisors William D. Newell and David Voth have been given new management positions at ATF headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Both McMahon and Newell said in testimony last month before the House Oversight Committee, which along with the Justice Department’s Inspector General is investigating the operation, that they made serious mistakes in the program.

ATF acting deputy director Kenneth E. Melson said in an agency-wide email obtained by the newspaper that McMahon and other ATF employees were being rewarded because of “the skills and abilities they have demonstrated throughout their careers.” McMahon was promoted on Sunday to head ATF’s Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations, which is charged with investigating wrongdoing by ATF agents.

Newell was named special assistant to the assistant director of the agency’s Office of Management in Washington on Aug. 1, while Voth became branch chief for the ATF’s tobacco division last month, according to the Times.

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