Major ATF Phoenix shake-up after "Gunwalker"
Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Bill Newell has been replaced by the former Detroit SAC Tom Brandon. Newell was reassigned to ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. shortly after CBS News interviewed an ATF agent-turned-whistleblower about the alleged gunwalking.
Two new Assistant Special Agents in Charge (ASACs) have also moved into the ATF Phoenix office: Joe Anarumo of Miami and Tom Atteberry of Kansas City. Sources say they replace the ASACs who oversaw Fast and Furious in Phoenix: George Gillett, who's being reassigned to Washington D.C. headquarters; and Jim Needles, who's been tasked to the Phoenix U.S. Attorney's office.
"This is unprecedented and welcome," says one insider, who describes the new Phoenix management as "the A-Team" and "respected."
Another move involves Agent David Voth, who directly supervised the Phoenix ATF "Group VII," that executed Fast and Furious. Sources say he's also been assigned to the U.S. Attorney's office along with Agent Hope McAllister. Sources say McAllister was the agent in charge of Fast and Furious. Replacing Voth as head of Group VII is Steve Barborini from Miami.
None of the managers who've been moved have had any disciplinary action announced against them. The fact of their transfers does not in itself suggest any wrongdoing. There are at least two investigations underway looking into how and why ATF allegedly let assault rifles and other weapons "walk." Sources say at the time, agents believed the guns would likely end up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels. One of the allegedly walked guns was used at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Officials are also looking into a possible link to the murder of Customs Agent Jaime Zapata.
Nobody from the ATF public affairs or from the Justice Department, which oversees ATF, would immediately confirm the personnel shifts. As of this writing, the official ATF web site for Phoenix still listed Newell, Needles and Gillette as their former positions in Phoenix ATF Division Management.
- Calif. dollars add to growing Powerball jackpot
- WH Benghazi emails have different quotes than earlier reported
- 8-year-old fights to get WWII vet recognition he deserves
- 5/17: Congress grills acting IRS commissioner: the student and the vet
- Domestic violence victim: "I was a prisoner in my own home"
- 5/16: Texas tornadoes leave path of destruction; Are Afghan troops ready to take over?
- Congress grills acting IRS commissioner
- Preview: The student and the vet
- On the road: The student and the vet
- Boston bombing victim's battle for recovery just beginning
- The power of a uniquely American song
- Texas tornado survivor found neighbor's house in backyard
- How a "chance" question sparked IRS scandal
- Motive discovered for Boston marathon bombings
- Judgment against alleged Fla. bully surprises everyone
- Texas tornadoes leave path of destruction