‘Fast and Furious’ Gun Likely Used in Deadly Shootout Found at Mexican Crime Scene

Another gun from the failed federal gunrunning program known as Operation Fast and Furious was recently found at a Mexican crime scene, CBS News reports. Congressional investigators say the crime scene was probably where a shootout occurred between apparent Sinaloa drug cartel members and the Mexican military, which resulted in the deaths of five people, including Sinaloa beauty queen Maria Susana Flores Gamez.

In this April 26, 2012 photo, Maria Susana Flores Gamez poses for a photo for a story about her upcoming participation in a beauty pageant in China, in Culiacan, Mexico. Flores, who was voted the 2012 Woman of Sinaloa in a beauty pageant in February, was killed in northern Mexico on Nov. 24, 2012 during a running gun battle between soldiers and the gang of drug traffickers she was traveling with. Credit: AP

CBS News has more details:

According to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the Justice Department did not notify Congress of the Fast and Furious firearm recovery in November, even though Grassley has requested an accounting of weapons that surface from the case. During Fast and Furious, ATF allowed more than 2,000 weapons, including giant .50-caliber guns, to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels and other criminals. Other so-called “gunwalking” operations by ATF let hundreds more guns hit the street. Most of them have never been recovered.

The latest known recovery is a Romanian AK-47-type WASR-10 rifle. It was picked up at a crime scene Nov. 23 in Ciudad Guamuchil, Sinaloa, Mexico. That’s the same area and weekend of the shootout involving Flores Gamez’s death. A trace report shows the rifle was purchased by Uriel Patino, the Fast and Furious suspect who allegedly bought more than 700 weapons while under ATF’s watch. Records show Patino bought the rifle and nine other semi-automatic rifles at an Arizona gun shop March 16, 2010.

Sen. Grassley has since set a letter to the Department of Justice asking for more information and inquiring whether Obama administration officials were planning to inform Congress “that a Fast and Furious weapon had been recovered.”

Two AK-47-style rifles were found at the murder scene of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010. Further, “the ATF estimated that Fast and Furious weapons had been recovered at eight violent crimes in Mexico,” CBS News reports.

Guns allowed to walk under ATF supervision were also used in the murder of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico in February 2011. Both the Zapata and Terry families are suing the federal government for its role in the failed gun-walking operations.


Featured image via AP