Nov 1, 2011

Drug War - Weapons Traffic: Documents Show Reaction to A.T.F.’s Wide Receiver and Fast and Furious "The head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, Lanny A. Breuer, was told in April 2010 that Arizona-based agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had allowed a gun trafficking ring to buy hundreds of weapons and send them to Mexico as part of an investigative tactic, according to newly disclosed documents.

The briefing ... did not involve Operation Fast and Furious, the disputed gun trafficking investigation run by the A.T.F.’s Phoenix office that is now the center of a Congressional inquiry. Rather, it involved a similar but earlier investigation, called Operation Wide Receiver, conducted by the A.T.F.’s Tucson office in 2006 and 2007.

When he learned about the earlier case, Mr. Breuer told aides to brief A.T.F. leaders that agents in Arizona had used problematic tactics, the documents show. But he did not issue a wider alert to Justice Department leaders, nor did he immediately speak up after accusations surfaced in January that several thousand guns might have flowed to Mexico as part of Fast and Furious." read more

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