Issa and Grassley: US Attorney Put Public in Danger by Failing to Bring Charges in Border Grenade Case

Published: Oct 30, 2014

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, R-IA, today made the following statement after the Department of Justice’s Inspector General released a report on the conduct of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) regarding a case on Jean Baptiste Kingery, an American who was suspected of smuggling thousands of grenade parts from the U.S. to Mexico to build live grenades for Mexican drug cartels:

“The Inspector General’s detailed review found that federal prosecutors should have approved the arrest and prosecution of Kingery long before they did,” said Issa. “The failure of the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office, and specifically Assistant United States Attorney Emory Hurley, to take action allowed a dangerous individual to remain free and continue his criminal activities, placing public safety at risk on both sides of the border by allowing the trafficking of grenades to narco-terrorists.  The IG’s report shows that Hurley again failed to bring charges against suspected criminals when he had more than enough evidence, as he did in Operation Fast and Furious.”

“The IG report makes clear that an assistant U.S. attorney refused to prosecute a known arms trafficker for ‘unpersuasive’ reasons.  Not only is this the same problem that occurred in Operation Fast and Furious, it was the same assistant U.S. attorney—who is still working for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona today,” Grassley said.  “The Kingery case is a microcosm of problems at the Justice Department.  It’s another example of agents being hung out to dry by the Justice Department and a dysfunctional U.S. attorney’s office.  It’s long past time for accountability at the Department of Justice.”

Read the Issa letter to Holder from October, 2013 here.