Election official in Arizona’s Senate dispute represented figure in ‘Fast and Furious’ arms scandal

Note: Having a Democrat controlling elections is like letting a fox in the hen house:

By Lukas Mikelionis | Fox News

A county official in Arizona, whom Republicans accuse of destroying evidence to cover up “voting irregularities,” has previously defended the accused ringleader of a group of gun straw buyers in Operation Fast and Furious, the federal operation that led to the death of a Border Patrol agent in the state.

Before he was elected in 2016 as Maricopa County recorder, Adrian Fontes was an attorney representing clients in narco-terrorism and firearms scandals.

He is now at the center of a contentious vote-count procedure in Arizona’s U.S. Senate race, where Democrat Kyrsten Sinema suddenly took a lead over Republican Martha McSally, thanks to votes mostly in Maricopa County.

The Republican Party objected to Fontes’ efforts to allow voters to confirm that they signed early ballots that were dropped off on Election Day, and criticized the official for opening emergency voting centers the weekend before Tuesday’s election and for mixing disputed ballots with valid ones.

The accusations of improper procedures led to a deal between Republicans and Democrats being struck in court on Friday, giving all counties in Arizona until this coming Wednesday to address problems with ballots.

“Adrian Fontes intentionally put himself above the law and the judicial process,” Arizona Republican Party Chairman Jonathan Lines said in a statement before the agreement. “Such a man cannot be trusted to administer elections in Arizona. We are reviewing all legal options at this time and will continue to protect the rights of every legal voter in Arizona.”

“Such a man cannot be trusted to administer elections in Arizona. We are reviewing all legal options at this time and will continue to protect the rights of every legal voter in Arizona.”
— Arizona Republican Party Chairman Jonathan Lines

Fontes, a Democrat, represented Manuel Celis-Acosta in 2011 following his arrest in Operation Fast and Furious, in which some federal officers aimed to sell firearms to Mexican drug cartels so the U.S. government could then track the weapons.

The accused man allegedly transferred around 2,000 weapons to the Sinaloa Cartel, including those that were allegedly used to kill Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

But Fontes dismissed the role of the ringleader, saying the gun straw buyers — those who purchase weapons for those who cannot — were just “a bunch of kids” and not a “nefarious organization.”
“A straw buyer is usually a kid who is 18-25, who needs a couple hundred extra bucks and knows somebody who knows somebody that has a way to make a couple extra bucks,” Adrian Fontes told Fox News in 2012.

“The government wants a dramatic indictment, they want the conspiracy to sound like it’s run out by highly sophisticated individuals who are involved with a particularly nefarious organization when the reality is it’s just a bunch of kids,” he added.

The main suspect in Operation Fast and Furious was arrested twice before, a report shows
In 2011, the attorney also represented Emilia Palomina-Robles, a woman who was part of the three-person group charged with an attempt to purchase a Stinger missile and other military weapons for a Mexican drug cartel.

Fontes accused the government at the time of “trying to see if they could make the charges stick” after the government kept the court filings sealed. “The government will have a tough time proving all the allegations,” he said.

The woman was later sentenced to 10 years in prison for her role in the scheme to acquire the military-grade weapons on behalf of a drug cartel.

One thought on “Election official in Arizona’s Senate dispute represented figure in ‘Fast and Furious’ arms scandal

  1. Mike

    I don’t see how it is that Fontes can just give anyone a mail-in ballot. I’m on the mail-in ballot permanent list but that’s because of an injury I sustained 16 years ago and to make sure my signature hasn’t changed I hauled my rear end downtown and made sure that it wasn’t far off what I originally signed up with in 2012. When I was there, I had to show 2 forms of ID as a drivers license wasn’t the end all and be all for the situation. Since I knew this from past times dealing with the Maricopa Elections Dept, I had brought a 2nd form of ID. Wasn’t hard to do. If I’m getting a mail in ballot, I can bring a 2nd ID.

    Now here comes Fontes who thinks he’s going to revolutionize the department. At 6:30am printers on the east side of Maricopa Co in republican districts don’t work. Over 200 people at 1 polling place were told to write their phone numbers on a piece of paper they’ll get a call back. REALLY. All 200 received a call? And from who? Then there was the 1 report of a place in Scottsdale where the woman reported that the ballots were already arrow linked with Democrat names. I got a screen shot of that complaint. Nobody ever followed up at that site or with her at the 9405 N. 84th St..location. Fontes revolutionized it alright. He disenfranchised republican and independent voters in Mesa, Scottsdale, Gilbert and Chandler areas but that was the plan he set out to do.

    Fontes, at the morning press conference, told everyone there who had a microphone he was making a change to the way precincts would report! Instead of dialing in and uploading their information, each precinct’s ‘tapes’ (hard drives) would be collected on a truck and brought back to Fontes for him to unpack/upload. Who knows if a precinct’s votes really got added or not to the total. If the tape got wiped by magnet accidentally on purpose? But I found that Fontes, changing the reporting standards the day of the election to be highly suspicious and knew then the fix was in.

    Republicans who won on election night but have flipped due to only democrat mail in ballots 4-1 (yeah what are the odds right?) Secretary of State is now Democrat, Corporation Commissioner, Superintendent of Education. And Doug Ducey who came out all for this “every vote must count” is going to find himself out of a job because right now he’s only 200k ahead and there are 300,000 votes in Maricopa county to “record”.

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