August 16, 2013, FOX NEWS – Three more weapons used in Operation Fast and Furious have been recovered at crime scenes in Mexico, Fox News confirms.
CBS News first reported earlier this week that the guns had been tracked down. According to Justice Department documents, all three are described as WASR-10 .762-caliber Romanian rifles and all three were traced to a gun shop in Glendale, Arizona. The exact locations where the guns were recovered, and what crimes the guns may have been used in, was not immediately clear.
The documents further state that two of the three guns were purchased by Uriel Patino, who is believed to have purchased 700 weapons with encouragement from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. The third was bought by Sean Steward, who was convicted on gun charges in 2012.
An ATF official, in response to the reports, told Fox News: “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.”
The Justice Department has acknowledged encouraging gun stores in the U.S. to sell weapons to purchasers who trafficked them to Mexican drug cartels. The Department said that the goal was to capture a major cartel leader.
In December 2010, two Fast and Furious rifles were recovered from the scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s murder. Terry had been shot by illegal immigrants who were smuggling drugs into the United States. The program was shut down in January 2011 when the details of Terry’s death became public.
The Justice Department has refused to provide a full account of the weapons involved in Fast and Furious to Congress. Refusal to turn over certain documents related to Fast and Furious led to a bipartisan vote in June 2012 to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. The House Oversight Committee is suing for release of the material.
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