Justice Department Documents Reveal the Widespread Use of Fast and Furious Weapons by Major Mexican Drug Cartels – Linked to at Least 69 Killings
From Judicial Watch (May 20th update) by Tom Fitton –
We are still uncovering grisly details of the Obama administration’s deadly Operation Fast and Furious gunrunning program. Just this week, we revealed that
from December 2012 to March 2016, 94 Fast and Furious weapons were picked up at various crime scenes.
We released Justice Department documents showing that weapons sent from the U.S. into Mexico have been widely used by major drug cartels. Over the past three years, a total of 94 Fast and Furious firearms have been recovered in Mexico City and 12 Mexican states, with the majority being seized in Sonora, Chihuahua and Sinaloa. Of the weapons recovered, 82 were rifles and 12 were pistols identified as having been part of the Fast and Furious program. Reports suggest these particular Fast and Furious guns are tied to at least 69 killings.
Fast and Furious was a Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) “gunrunning” operation in which the Obama administration allowed guns to be sold to Mexican drug cartels in the hope the weapons would be recovered at crime scenes. Fast and Furious weapons have been implicated in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and hundreds of other innocents in Mexico. Prior reports tie Fast and Furious weapons to at least 200 deaths in Mexico alone.
We obtained the documents last month in response to a March 17, 2016, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives seeking the following:
- All records identifying the locations (including, but not limited to, crime scenes and the locations of seizures) at which firearms – that were identified during the course of or due to Operation Fast and Furious – have been recovered by law enforcement personnel.
The documents show that of the 94 Fast and Furious firearms seized 20 were identified as being involved in “violent recoveries.” The “violent recoveries” involved several mass killings:
- June 30, 2014 — One 7.62mm rifle recovered in Tlatlaya, Estado de Mexico. This is the reported date and location of a shootout in which 22 people were killed.
- May 22, 2015 — Two 7.62mm rifles were recovered from the site of a massive shootout in Rancho el Sol, Michoacán, that left one Mexican Federal Police officer and 42 suspected cartel members dead.
- August 7, 2015 — One 7.62mm rifle was among five firearms reported as recovered from an abandoned stolen vehicle in which three dead shooting victims were found in Parral, Chihuahua.
- January 29, 2013 — One 7.62mm rifle seized in Hostotipaquillo, Jalisco, is reportedly related to the assassination of the town police chief, Luis Lucio Astorga and his bodyguard.
- January 11, 2016 — One .50 caliber rifle was seized from Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman’s hideout in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, where he was (re)arrested.
- In October 2014, Judicial Watch uncovered the fact that an AK 47 rifle used in a July 29, 2013, gang-style assault on an apartment building that left two people wounded was part of the gunrunning program.
As the production of documents from the ATF continues, we expect to see even further confirmation of Obama’s disgraced former Attorney General Eric Holder’s prediction that Fast and Furious guns will be used in crimes for years to come.
In the meantime, these documents show that President Obama’s legacy includes gunrunning, violence and death.