Three more weapons from the controversial operation Fast and Furious have surfaced at crime scenes in Mexico.
In the federal operation, which came under massive scrutiny after being made public, gun sellers were encouraged to sell massive amounts of firearms to questionable buyers so that agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) could track the weapons in the hopes of penetrating the high echelons of Mexican drug cartels. The operation was made public by whistleblower and ATF special agent John Dodson, who revealed the already-suspected actions of his agency in an interview with CBS News in 2011.
Subsequently, the Justice Department—though it acknowledged the use of the strategy—refused to give up certain Fast and Furious documents, which led to a bipartisan vote in the House in June 2012 to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. President Obama then used executive privilege to keep the documents out of the hands of Congress, prompting the Republican-majority House Oversight Committee to sue for release of the documents.
A number of guns purchased during the operation have since been found at crime scenes in Mexico. Two Fast and Furious AK-47 guns were also found at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, who was shot by drug smugglers in December 2010.
All three of the firearms most recently discovered in Mexico are WASR-10 762-caliber Romanian rifles, and all were traced to the Lone Wolf gun shop in Glendale, Arizona. Two were purchased by Uriel Patino, a prolific buyer under scrutiny during the Fast and Furious operation. Patino is said to have purchased 700 guns while being surveilled by ATF. The third gun was purchased by Sean Steward, who was convicted of gun charges in July 2012.