PHOENIX - The special state committee, created in January to investigate the controversial ATF Fast and Furious case, will not meet its March 30, 2012 deadline to provide its findings about the controversial case to the governor.
According to Rey Torres, the Director of Communications for the Arizona House of Representatives, the Ad Hoc Committee on Operation Fast and Furious has not yet held a meeting and currently has no meeting scheduled.
The group was formed to investigate the factual background of the flawed Fast and Furious case , in which ATF agents admitted to allowing straw buyers to obtain weapons and distribute them to known criminals .
Torres said it is unlikely that a meeting will be scheduled before the legislative session is finished sometime next month.
According to Rep. David Burnell Smith, the committee chairman, the group will aim for June 2012 as a new target date for delivering a report to the governor.
NEW PHOTOS AND AUDIO
The ABC15 Investigators have obtained a police report, audio recordings, and photographs of a weapon linked to the Fast and Furious case after it turned up at a crime scene in Maricopa, AZ in March 2010 .
According to an Arizona Department of Public Safety police report, members of a special vehicle theft task force were attempting to pull over a truck that had been stolen from Avondale when the driver fled and then pointed a handgun at an officer.
According to the police report, the driver, Angel Hernandez-Diaz, also had an AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifle in his possession during the vehicle chase.
The AK-47, according to the ATF, is linked to the Fast and Furious case.
According to the police report, Hernandez-Diaz was attempting to transport the weapon and the vehicle to a drop-off point in the desert.
According to Ofc. Mike Ruiz, an officer involved in the pursuit, Hernandez-Diaz’s vehicle had been disabled by a spike strip when Hernandez-Diaz took off running from the truck.
“I saw the suspect bail out of the vehicle,” Ruiz told a DPS investigator during an interview about the incident.
“I pulled up, exited my vehicle, (and) yelled, ‘Police! Stop!” he said, explaining how he followed Hernandez-Diaz around a corner.
“Right as I came around that corner…he was almost down to…almost like crouched but not quite a crouch,” he told the investigator, describing Hernandez-Diaz.
“With his gun in the right hand…and he was pointing it right at me,” Ruiz said. “I fired one round off…and I figured he had me.”
Ruiz’s bullet did not strike Hernandez-Diaz, but the suspect was taken into custody and convicted of possessing two guns that were found inside the stolen truck, stealing the truck, and running from officers.
The gun Hernandez-Diaz was accused of pointing at Ruiz was never found. However police found two weapons inside the stolen truck: the AK-47 and a Beretta pistol.
TRACE ON THE PISTOL
According to a Department of Justice Firearms Trace Summary dated September 29, 2011, Hernandez-Diaz’s second weapon, a Beretta pistol, could be traced back to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept, Fiscal Svcs, as the dealer.
However, according to Steve Whitmore, a senior media advisor for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the gun did not belong to the department at the time of the incident involving Hernandez-Diaz.
“It’s not our gun,” he told the ABC15 Investigators. “It was sold back to Beretta.” Whitmore did not respond by our deadline as to when or why the gun had been returned to the company.
A spokesperson for the Beretta company would not address our questions about the ownership of the weapon.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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