The Mexican beauty queen who was killed in late November in a shootout between soldiers and drug traffickers was found lying next to a weapon obtained in the US government’s botched Fast and Furious operation.
The Obama administration’s failed initiative allowed about 2,000 weapons to fall into the hands of drug cartels and is implicated in the murders Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry (and also reportedly ICE Agent Jaime Zapata) as well as hundreds of Mexican citizens. Most of these guns have never been recovered.
According to CBS News, a Fast and Furious-linked assault rifle was found at the crime scene near the body of beauty queen Maria Susana Flores Gamez, who reportedly was used as a human shield by the drug runners. US Senator Charles Grassley is demanding answers:
“The latest known recovery is a Romanian AK-47-type WASR-10 rifle. It was picked up at a crime scene Nov. 23 in Ciudad Guamuchil, Sinaloa, Mexico. That’s the same area and weekend of the shootout involving Flores Gamez’s death. A trace report shows the rifle was purchased by Uriel Patino, the Fast and Furious suspect who allegedly bought more than 700 weapons while under ATF’s watch. Records show Patino bought the rifle and nine other semi-automatic rifles at an Arizona gun shop March 16, 2010.
“Grassley has sent a letter to the Justice Department requesting more information, and asking whether the officials were planning to notify Congress ‘that a Fast and Furious weapon had been recovered.’
“The Justice Department provided no immediate response to CBS News.”
A separate CBS News report indicates that “authorities say the ring was believed to have supplied the Sinaloa cartel with guns. Mexico’s drug cartels often seek out guns in the U.S. because gun laws in Mexico are more restrictive than in the U.S.”
The Obama administration has repeatedly stonewalled the efforts by an investigating committee in Congress to get the bottom of this scandal, and the US House of Representatives has already voted to hold Eric Holder in Contempt of Congress for failing to turn over necessary evidence.
The administration is preparing new gun regulations in the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy. Given what happened in Fast and Furious, however, many Second Amendment proponents believe that there is a lack of good faith on the part of the government, as The Daily Caller reports:
“Critics say the [Fast and Furious] program was intended by top-level officials to smear U.S. gun-sellers as reckless supporters of the cartels, and boost the administration’s plans for gun-control legislation.
“Several mid-level and senior officials in the Justice Department have been fired or quit following GOP-led investigations of the program.”
Separately, Agent Terry’s family has just filed a lawsuit against several government officials (mostly in the ATF) and a gun shop owner for negligence and wrongful death.