Investigators have traced yet another firearm, used by suspected cartel gunmen in a deadly Mexican resort shootout, back to the failed federal gun-walking operation known as “Fast and Furious.”
A U.S. official confirmed to CNN Tuesday that an “AK-47 style” firearm was recovered at the scene of a Dec. 18 gunfight in Puerto Penasco, a Mexican town just across the Arizona border. So far, it’s the only gun from the shootout that has been linked to the disastrous ATF operation.
At least five suspected cartel members, including possibly a high level Sinaloa cartel chief, were killed in the Puerto Penasco gunfight earlier this month, CNN reports, citing Mexican authorities.
“Witnesses reported hours of shooting and grenade explosions, with Mexican authorities using helicopters to attack fleeing suspected cartel gunmen on the ground,” the report adds.
Guns from “Fast and Furious” have been used in a number of murders and crimes, including the shooting death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Years later, the guns continue to pop up at crime scenes.
In the poorly thought out operation, agents allowed suspected gun smugglers to purchase about 2,000 firearms. With no plan in place to track the firearms, most of them were lose and are believed to have landed in the hands of Mexican drug cartel members in Mexico.
The ATF reportedly released the following statement: “ATF has accepted responsibility for the mistakes made in the Fast and Furious investigation and at the attorney general’s direction we have taken appropriate and decisive action to ensure that these errors will not be repeated. And we acknowledge that, regrettably, firearms related to the Fast and Furious investigation will likely continue to be recovered at future crime scenes.”