So..........Now I shall go and independently learn what an OCDETF is.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona led the Fast and Furious OCDETF Strike Force. Although ATF was the lead law enforcement agency for Fast and Furious, its agents took direction from prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The lead federal prosecutor for Fast and Furious was Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley, who played an integral role in the day-to-day, tactical management of the case.14
Many ATF agents working on Operation Fast and Furious came to believe that some of the most basic law enforcement techniques used to interdict weapons required the explicit approval of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and specifically from Hurley. On numerous occasions, Hurley and other federal prosecutors withheld this approval, to the mounting frustration of ATF agents.15 The U.S. Attorney’s Office chose not to use other available investigative tools common in gun trafficking cases, such as civil forfeitures and seizure warrants, during the seminal periods of Fast and Furious.
14 Transcribed Interview of Special Agent in Charge William Newell, at 32-33 (June 8, 2011).
15 Transcribed Interview of Special Agent Larry Alt, at 94 (Apr. 27, 2011).
The U.S. Attorney’s Office advised ATF that agents needed to meet unnecessarily strict evidentiary standards in order to speak with suspects, temporarily detain them, or interdict weapons. ATF’s reliance on this advice from the U.S. Attorney’s Office during Fast and Furious resulted in many lost opportunities to interdict weapons.
In addition to leading the Fast and Furious OCDETF task force, the U.S. Attorney’s Office was instrumental in preparing the wiretap applications that were submitted to the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. Federal prosecutors in Arizona filed at least six of these applications, each containing immense detail about operational tactics and specific information about straw purchasers, in federal court after Department headquarters authorized them.
The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.
So, where are we now? We are to believe that Holder was ignorant of all of this? Does this begin requiring the willing suspension of disbelief?
OCDETF is the centerpiece of the Attorney General’s drug supply reduction strategy. In order to enhance the OCDETF Program’s ability to contribute to the President’s mandate to reduce the drug supply, the Program focuses its resources on coordinated, nationwide investigations, targeting the entire infrastructure of major drug trafficking. It also assisted in the development of the Attorney General’s Consolidated Priority Organization Target (CPOT) List, a unified agency target list of international “command and control” drug traffickers and money launderers.