WASHINGTON — One of the guns that Mexican officials say was found at the hideout of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera has been found to be associated with Fast and Furious, a failed “gun-walking” operation, according to the Justice Department.
The department said in a letter to members of Congress that a .50-caliber rifle that Mexican officials sent for tracing after Guzman’s arrest in January has been connected to Fast and Furious.
Officials say the weapon was one of 19 firearms that Mexican authorities said were recovered from the hideout and was the only one determined to be associated with the botched sting operation, in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed gun runners to buy weapons in hopes of tracking them and disrupting gun smuggling rungs.
The rifle was bought in July 2010 in a straw purchase by someone not known to ATF at the time. The buyer was later identified and came under investigation but was never indicted. The weapon is not known to be associated with any other crime, the Justice Department says.
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