The whistleblower who helped spark the federal investigation into the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal paid tribute to a fallen Border Patrol agent Monday night.
John Dodson, a former Phoenix ATF agent, traveled from South Carolina to attend the Brian Terry Foundation Benefit Dinner in Tucson.
Although he never met Terry, he said he wanted to be involved in the event, which will raise money for the families of fallen agents. It will also help fund educational scholarships.
"I just feel kind of a kinship with him as I thought cops do," Dodson told ABC15.
Terry died in December 2010, when armed bandits shot him in the back near the Arizona/Mexico border. Two guns at the murder scene were linked to the controversial Fast and Furious case of which Dodson was a part.
Last year, Dodson testified about the Fast and Furious case and the gun-walking tactics associated with it in front of a Congressional committee investigating the flawed strategy. He explained how Phoenix ATF agents failed to prevent criminals from illegally obtaining weapons and transporting them below the border.
"I'm sorry that this ever happened, and I'm very sorry for my involvement in any of it. And I'm very sorry that I didn't say more sooner and louder."
Dodson said he is "immensely grateful" that the Terry family has embraced him as the information related to the Fast and Furious case and the associated gun-walking tactics has come to light.
"They were just great from the beginning. It goes to show you what a great family they are and what a great son and brother and friend that Brian must've been for them to act the way they do," he said.
"I think about the family sometimes and I think - how much pain have they gone through?" Dodson said, explaining the lengthy process of learning what went wrong.
"There are times I think - had I said nothing - they could've mourned and moved on already….Did my coming forward add to their pain, their mourning? I don't regret - I think about it. I don't know the answer to it," he said.
Dodson said he was transferred to a South Carolina ATF post from his Phoenix job in November 2011. He said he has been assigned to mostly desk duties since the transfer.
"What I'm doing now has nothing to do with why I got into law enforcement," he said. "My life is not the same as it used to be and can never be," Dodson said.
"Everything, for me, is kind of up in the air until the (Office of the Inspector General) report comes out," he said.
The report, which will show the results of a lengthy investigation into the Fast and Furious case, is expected to be released this week. The Inspector General for the US Department of Justice will testify in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Thursday.
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