National Security

‘Fast and Furious’ rifle found in El Chapo’s hideout

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A .50-caliber rifle recovered from the hideout of drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán is reportedly one of the firearms lost by the U.S. government’s gun-smuggling operation Fast and Furious.

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) checked serial numbers of weapons recovered after the raid earlier this month on the Los Mochis house where Guzman was staying. They traced one of two rifles back to the ATF program, according to Fox News.

{mosads}Federal officials are investigating how many weapons seized from the house originated in the U.S., sources told Fox News. The report noted that ATF agents lost track of 1,400 of the roughly 2,000 weapons it allowed suspects to buy in Arizona with the intent of tracking them.

Thirty-four of the weapons sold through Fast and Furious were .50-caliber rifles, sources told the news outlet, which reported that Guzman placed guards on hilltops to shoot down helicopters. 

The notorious drug lord escaped from a Mexican prison last year. Mexican authorities raided his safe house on Jan. 8, and he was recaptured later that day. Video of the raid showed a volley of gunfire as marines searched for the fugitive. 

The botched Fast and Furious operation was intended to track straw purchasers of firearms, but ATF officials lost track of the guns. One of the guns was later tied to the shooting death of a Border Patrol agent in Arizona and multiple other weapons were linked to crimes.

The program sparked a major fight between congressional Republicans and the administration during President Obama’s first term.

Then-Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over records about the program. A federal judge ruled this week that Obama cannot use executive privilege to keep the records from Congress.

Tags Eric Holder Fast and Furious

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