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Update: Did Operation 'Fast and Furious' Illegally Sell Guns to Criminals & Convicted Felons?

"You cannot sanction the violation of federal law."

We at The Blaze have reported previously that the ATF, acting as part of Operation "Fast and Furious," apparently sold guns to straw buyers near the US-Mexico border and lost track of the weapons. Many of these guns have reportedly ended up in the hands of Mexican drug cartel members, including at the crime scene of murdered U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

Now, Fox News is reporting that the Feds refuse to clarify whether they knowingly sold guns not just to straw buyers, but to two convicted felon straw buyers, who were allegedly able to purchase 363 guns between them:

Fox claims to have access to records and sources that indicate the FBI, in conjunction with the ATF, did in fact sell weapons illegally to felon straw buyers, and did so despite the fact that FBI checks may have alerted authorities to the criminal records. It reports:

"According to court records... two of the 20 defendants indicted in the Fast and Furious investigation have felony convictions and criminal backgrounds that experts say, at the very least, should have delayed them buying a single firearm. Instead, the duo bought dozens of guns on multiple occasions while federal officials watched on closed-circuit cameras.

Congressional and law-enforcement sources say the situation suggests the FBI, which operates the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, knowingly allowed the purchases to go forward after consulting with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which initiated Operation Fast and Furious.

If true, this would likely magnify the already intense Congressional scrutiny faced by those in charge of Operation Fast and Furious, including Attorney General Eric Holder.

Trey Gowdy (R-SC), a former federal prosecutor and a member of the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee, stated in response to these accusations that, "You cannot sanction the violation of federal law by enabling or co-enabling prohibited persons, which includes felony convictions, from purchasing firearms."

The FBI has declined to comment on the specific accusations of selling to the two named individuals above, according to Fox.

Tomorrow, the House Oversight Committee will hold a third hearing, focused on what was occurring on the other side of the border during this operation, including testimony by current and former ATF officials that they had never heard of the Operation until the scandal broke.

One last thing…
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