Arizona-based Officials Implicated In 'Fast And Furious' Report

By Jude Joffe-Block
September 20, 2012

PHOENIX -- Since the Department of Justice's internal watchdog released a report Wednesday on the botched gunwalking operation, Fast and Furious, the implications are beginning to be felt. Federal personnel in Arizona are among those who could be disciplined as a result of the findings.

The 471-page report by the Office of Inspector General found that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives' Phoenix field office, together with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona, “bore primary responsibility” for Fast and Furious, and an earlier Operation, Wide Receiver.

Both operations lost track of guns sold to buyers who were suspected of smuggling them across the border.

The report names more than a dozen federal officials to be considered for possible disciplinary action.

Among those referred for internal review are five active ATF agents who were once based in Phoenix, two of whom are still based at that office. Also named were personnel from the Phoenix US Attorney's office, including former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke who resigned last year.

The former acting head of ATF, Kenneth Melson, and another high-ranking Department of Justice official, Jason Weinstein resigned on Wednesday.