One of the weapons used in a deadly Mexican shootout last year was traced to the U.S. government’s disastrous Fast and Furious operation. Three Mexican police officers were killed in the shootout.
A Justice Department summary provided to two Republican congressional committee chairmen Tuesday found that a WASR-10 rifle, purchased six years before in the U.S., was one of three rifles fired in the July 27 assault in the town of Valle de Zaragoza. It was not immediately known which weapon caused the officers’ fatal wounds.
Nevertheless, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives officials traced the WASR rifle to a Nov. 12, 2009, transaction that was part of the flawed federal gun trafficking operation, known as “Operation Fast and Furious.”
“ATF and the (Justice) Department deeply regret that firearms associated with Operation Fast and Furious have been used by criminals in the commission of violent crimes, particularly crimes resulting the death of civilians and law enforcement officers,’’ Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik said in a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa and House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz of Utah.
“ATF accepts full responsibility for the flawed execution of Fast and Furious, and will continue to support Mexican law enforcement in efforts to recover and identify associated firearms.’’
The Justice Department reports that 885 firearms sold to Mexican narco-terrorists by the Obama administration have been recovered. Four hundred and fifteen were recovered inside the U.S. and 470 were found in Mexico.
A 50-caliber rifle recovered from the capture of drug lord “El Chapo” was also traced back to Fast and Furious.