A new accounting of guns that were allowed to be trafficked to Mexico as part of a botched U.S. firearms investigation shows that one of the weapons was used last year in a deadly shootout that left three Mexican police officers dead.
A Justice Department summary provided to two Republican congressional committee chairmen Tuesday found that a WASR-10 rifle, purchased six years before in the U.S., was one of three rifles fired in the July 27 assault in the town of Valle de Zaragoza. It was not immediately known which weapon caused the officers’ fatal wounds.
Nevertheless, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives officials traced the WASR rifle to a Nov. 12, 2009, transaction that was part of the flawed federal gun trafficking operation, known as “Operation Fast and Furious.”
“ATF and the (Justice) Department deeply regret that firearms associated with Operation Fast and Furious have been used by criminals in the commission of violent crimes, particularly crimes resulting the death of civilians and law enforcement officers,’’ Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik said in a Tuesday letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley of Iowa and House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz of Utah.