As police approached a drug cartel's safe house in northwestern Mexico last May, gunmen inside poured on fire with powerful assault rifles and grenades, killing seven officers whose weapons were no match.It turned out the gun dealer in Phoenix had been doing a brisk business supplying guns destined for south-of-the-border shooters.
Four more lawmen were wounded in the bloodbath and a cache of weapons was seized, including a single AK-47 assault rifle that authorities say was purchased 800 miles away at a Phoenix gun shop and smuggled into Mexico.
George Iknadosian, owner of X-Caliber Guns in Phoenix, is accused of selling guns to two groups of straw buyers when he knew the weapons were going to be smuggled into Mexico. He also was targeted in stings in which he allegedly sold guns to undercover officers posing as straw buyers.
Investigators believe 600 guns sold by Iknadosian ended up in Mexico, most headed to the violent Pacific Coast state of Sinaloa.
Authorities say several have surfaced.
They include: An AK-47 and .38-caliber Super pistol with diamond-encrusted grips found after the Nov. 2 killing of the police chief of the northern state of Sonora as he walked into a hotel about two miles south of the Arizona border.
A .38-caliber Super pistol seized a year ago when Mexican special forces captured a top Sinaloa cartel lieutenant, Alfredo Beltran Leyva, and three members of his security team in Culiacan.
Three assault rifles recovered after patrolling federal police officers were fired upon and responded by killing four gunmen from the Beltran Leyva drug gang on July 2 at a house in Culiacan.
The way I see it, this story covers both definitions of the word "flow." Not only was Iknadosian pumping weapons into Mexico, which is the first kind of "flow," but he himself was presumably a legitimate licensed gun dealer and gun owner himself, that is until he himself "flowed" over to the dark side. That's the second definition.
How frequent is this, do you think?
I say it's too frequent. Imagine all the ones who aren't quite as greedy as this guy, the ones who operate below the radar indefinitely. What I don't understand is why the truly legitimate guys deny that this goes on.
What can be done about these so-called "straw purchases?" Are they similar to the "gun show loophole?" Can't these things be cleaned up?
What's your opinion?