Before there was "Operation Fast & Furious," there was "Operation Wide Receiver." Mike Detty has told the story of running guns to Mexico in his new book, "Guns Across The Border," from Skyhorse Publishing Company. This is the same Mike Detty who writes for the gun magazines, and he has a rather unique perspective on this failed ATF operation because, you see, he was the confidential informant who helped build the entire case.
Now, most confidential informants come from the criminal element. They are often folks who have been arrested for a crime and are trying to mitigate their punishment by snitching on their associates. However, Detty was nothing like that. He holds an FFL and, in the course of legal firearms transactions, became concerned about the character of his customers.
As a concerned citizen, Detty reported these concerns to ATF agents in the Tucson, AZ, area. He cooperated fully with the investigation and was subsequently recruited to continue to sell guns to people who were clearly planning to deliver the guns to Mexico. Time after time, Detty was assured ATF was cooperating with Mexican authorities, and the bad guys and guns would soon be rounded up.
During an operation that ran for several years, Detty kept personal notes and tapes of the conversations he had with the gun runners and the ATF agents. This Tucson case was ultimately overshadowed by the "Fast & Furious" operation being run out of the Phoenix ATF office.
Detty initially felt very good about cooperating with federal officers to take these gun runners off the streets. However, throughout the pages of "Guns Across The Border," we see Detty's great disappointment as he begins to get a look at the underbelly of the whole operation.
"Guns Across The Border" is very well written and extremely well documented. It is the clearest explanation I have yet to see regarding the infamous Mexican gun running operation. "Guns Across The Border" is available through most book stores and Amazon.