Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Operation Fast and Furious Gun Found After Drug Cartel Shootout

Sunday, December 23, 2012 |

The ATF is linked to two guns found after a drug cartel gunfight in Sinaloa, Mexico. One disappeared during Operation Fast and Furious; the other was bought by a supervisor of the operation.

Borderland Beat

By Richard A. Serrano
Los Angeles Times

Maria Susana Flores Gamez, crowned “Sinaloa Woman,” was among the five killed in the Nov. 24 drug cartel shootout in Mexico where ATF-linked weapons were later found.
 
Two of the weapons found after a drug cartel gunfight last month in Sinaloa, Mexico, that killed five people have been traced back to the U.S. — one lost during the ATF's Operation Fast and Furious, the other originally purchased by a supervisory ATF agent who helped oversee the botched gun-tracking operation.

The discovery of the firearms — an AK-47 assault rifle and a 5.7-millimeter pistol — provides new evidence that some of the 2,000 weapons lost under Fast and Furious, and others as well, continue to flow freely across the U.S.-Mexico border and likely will be turning up at violent crime scenes for years to come.

The purchase by the supervisory agent, George Gillett of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Phoenix field office, is now under review by the Justice Department's inspector general's office, which earlier this year found major systemic problems with Fast and Furious.
In a brief phone call Wednesday, Gillett declined to discuss why he purchased the FN Herstal pistol in January 2010 or how it ended up in Mexico. He listed his address as the Phoenix ATF field office in the purchasing documents.

"I've got no comment. I can't discuss it," he said. "But it was a lawful transaction."

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), a leading congressional investigator into Fast and Furious, asked the inspector general's office to review whether Gillett used false information in obtaining the weapon and two others by listing the field office or a Phoenix shopping center as his home addresses.

The other weapon recovered after the shooting, a Romanian AK-47-type WASR-10 rifle, was purchased in March 2010 in Arizona by Uriel Patino. It was one of more than 700 firearms he allegedly obtained illegally under the eyes of the ATF in its attempts to track weapons to the Mexican cartels. Patino is being prosecuted in Arizona in connection with the purchases.

The shooting occurred Nov. 24. Among those dead was Maria Susana Flores Gamez, a 22-year-old crowned "Sinaloa Woman" in 2012. Mexican authorities believe she might have been armed too and fired at soldiers, or was used as a human shield in the confrontation. Two soldiers also died.

Gillett was the ATF's assistant special agent in charge in Phoenix from October 2009, when Fast and Furious began, until April 2010. During his tenure, Fast and Furious suspects illegally purchased about 1,300 firearms for more than $1 million, yet according to the inspector general, "agents made no arrests and just a single seizure."

The inspector general's office, in its findings into Fast and Furious in September, also concluded that Gillett "lost sight of the immediate public safety risk being created" by the operation or that he "truly believed" that the risk was worth the effort if it led to cartel leaders.

"In either case," the inspector general's office said, "we found Gillett's supervision and judgment in Operation Fast and Furious seriously deficient."

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12 Borderland Beat Comments:

white boy said...

no matter what this tragedy is and embarrasement to the military with they claimed she shot at him evidence says she had a cell phone and yelled dont shoot

Anonymous said...

There all fast and furious guns. Government on both sides just doesnt care. But either way she had no bissines beying with.those guys and thats why they shot at her

Anonymous said...

its funny,this is the second story ive read bout to do wit those guns,but the last one im sure was in the hands of Juarez cartel gunmen....now this one was in the hands of the sinaloa cartel gunmen.
So it might of been a botch job afterall and not what ppl are saying where ATF were arming CDS only.

Anonymous said...

Ok.. what about all the other hundreds of thousands of shootouts in mexico, those f&f guns too? Yea ok.....

Anonymous said...

Can't fly like a eagle when you hangin around a bunch of turkeys

Anonymous said...

By all means go after all involved in Fast and Furious but don't forget the pentagon pours much more significant numbers of weapons in this conflict and many others.

Anonymous said...

ATF people on the take to supply cartels with guns? There is no other explanation

Anonymous said...

All American guns in Mexico are fast and furious guns.. let's face it the US is just as guilty as Mexico is, in the murders of 60,000 plus people.. the difference is its not Americans being murder, so therefore the US don't give a fuck..ATF , DEA or whoever it might be , there all dirty .. we just don't hear about stories like that in our media..

Anonymous said...

white boy said...
"no matter what this tragedy is and embarrasement to the military with they claimed she shot at him evidence says she had a cell phone and yelled dont shoot"

Why is it an embarrasment to the military? Why was this woman doing hanging around with a bunch of narcos shooting at the military? Fuck her, she got what she deserved. You hang out with jackals, you catch the fleas too. Your sympathies should be reserved for the families of the two soldiers chasing these putos, not for a narcoputa that wants the glamour and money and then claim she was innocent before she got shot through the ass...

Anonymous said...

@9:50 I totally agree,dont forget the poor workers who got car jacked by those CDS fuckers either, they got gunned down....she made the mistake of thinking she was with the most powerful cartel in mexico and thought she was invincible or something.

Anonymous said...

you are a stupid motherf..............to think,or even to imagine that the Beauty Queen died with gun in her hand.You know,and I know this bastards killed her, f........ the Military.The DEA,Mexican army are all bunch of dirty bastards REST IN Shit the two soldiers that died.

Anonymous said...

One things for sure,if i was one of those soldiers that seen that silly bitch put her hands up for surrender.....i would of unloaded a whole clip on her,fkn kill two of my comrades....i fkn kill you all.

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