Yet another gun lost in the ATF's disastrous federal gun-walking operation known as "Fast and Furious" has reportedly been used in a murder.
A high-powered rifle from Fast and Furious was used to kill a Mexican police chief in the state of Jalisco earlier this year, according to internal Department of Justice records. The new revelation suggests "that weapons from the failed gun-tracking operation have now made it into the hands of violent drug cartels deep inside Mexico," the Los Angeles Times reports.
More from the LA Times:
Luis Lucio Rosales Astorga, the police chief in the city of Hostotipaquillo, was shot to death Jan. 29 when gunmen intercepted his patrol car and opened fire. Also killed was one of his bodyguards. His wife and a second bodyguard were wounded.
Local authorities said eight suspects in their 20s and 30s were arrested after police seized them nearby with a cache of weapons — rifles, grenades, handguns, helmets, bulletproof vests, uniforms and special communications equipment. The area is a hot zone for rival drug gangs, with members of three cartels fighting over turf in the region.
A semi-automatic WASR rifle, the firearm that killed the chief, was traced back to the Lone Wolf Trading Company, a gun store in Glendale, Ariz. The notation on the Department of Justice trace records said the WASR was used in a “HOMICIDE – WILLFUL – KILL –PUB OFF –GUN” –ATF code for “Homicide, Willful Killing of a Public Official, Gun.”
The ATF allowed hundreds of guns to walk across the border into Mexico with supposed intentions of tracking them to Mexican cartel leaders.
The ATF declined to discuss the murder of the Mexican police chief. Officials told the LA Times that they are still creating an inventory of all the lost firearms for a complete account of the Fast and Furious operation. The operation was started in 2008.
At least 211 people have been killed or wounded by Fast and Furious guns, according to Mexican authorities. This, of course, includes slain U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, who was gunned down by Mexican traffickers in 2010.