Operation Fast and Furious

Fronteras Desk Senior Field Correspondent Michel Marizco has been covering Operation Fast and Furious -- the gunwalking scandal in Southern Arizona -- since the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in 2010. Here is an overview of the work done by Marizco and other Fronteras Desk reporters

On a cold December night in 2010, a Border Patrol agent was shot and killed along the U.S.-Mexican border in southern Arizona. His murder exposed a government operation known as Fast and Furious that’s become a major scandal.

CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS

Agents from the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms testified they tried to stop the gun walking program.
ATF leaders appeared before Congress Tuesday morning during a hearing into Operation Fast and Furious. A report details how dozens of weapons were found linked to crimes in Mexico. The leaders avoided hard questions as to who was ultimately is responsible for the scandal.
While admitting allowing high-powered weapons to enter Mexico was a mistake, Attorney General Eric Holder refused to resign and asked Congress to help his agency by enacting new gun regulations.
The long-awaited Inspector General report on the gunwalking scandal known as Operation Fast and Furious is expected to be issued Wednesday.
The DOJ watchdog's report placed much of the blame for the botched gun walking operation on Phoenix-based personnel with ATF and the U.S. Attorney's Office.

GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT

Gunwalking suspect pleads guilty to weapons charges, but none involving the murder of Border Patrol agent.
DEA wiretaps provided enough evidence to arrest gun buyers as early as 2009, but the ATF wanted to build their own case instead of sharing the arrests with the DEA, according to a Congressional report.
Sen. Chuck Grassley's office released the correspondence about the ATF led Operations Fast & Furious and Wide Receiver. Some of the emails suggest the Department of Justice wanted to minimize the amount of information about the gun walking programs that would be made public.
An April 2010 email states: “ATF let a bunch of guns walk in effort to get upstream conspirators but only got straws and didn’t recover many guns.”
"Operation Wide Receiver" used some of the same tactics as the infamous "Operation Fast and Furious": Buyers purchased weapons in the U.S. and delivered them to Mexico, according to court records. Only nine people have been charged; it is unknown how many have been hurt.
Nearly two-thirds of the guns are believed to be in Mexico and at least one weapon has been connected to the death of a border patrol agent.
The ATF is accused of running an operation it called "Fast and Furious" that allowed cartel gun buyers to purchase weapons and take them unhindered into Mexico.
The ATF agent who blew the whistle on the agency's flawed gunwalking program, Operation Fast and Furious, is now suing Time, Inc., the media giant that publishes Fortune Magazine.
The report shows agents in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives tried to keep rival agents in Homeland Security from discovering they were letting guns into Mexico.