| News

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Stung by a gun-running sting

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Pittsburgh The Tribune-Review
Friday, April 1, 2011

A federal gun "sting" that was supposed to track weapons bought in the United States and headed to Mexico instead has stung government officials.

Never mind that the supposed "point of origin" for illegal weapons is dead wrong. Now nobody wants to 'fess up as to how these operations sent an estimated 1,700 weapons to Mexican thugs.

Under Operation Fast and Furious and Project Gunrunner, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives encouraged U.S. gun dealers to sell to certain people suspected of working for Mexican drug cartels, according to accounts first reported by CBS News. The weapons, including hundreds of AK-47s, were supposed to be intercepted at the border.

They weren't.

Instead, some have been identified in the deaths of a Border Patrol agent and a U.S. immigration official, along with at least 150 Mexicans, officials say.

President Obama acknowledged that Fast and Furious was maybe "a serious mistake" but one that he didn't authorize. Ditto from Attorney General Eric Holder.

So, the buck stops where?

The operations themselves are questionable in that most illegal arms entering Mexico come from Latin America. And a whistle-blower alleges that the feds intentionally allowed the illegal gun trafficking.

So, who's behind this mess• Congressional subpoenas would be a good start in tracking down the answers. For the recoil from what has all the makings of a rogue operation has been deadly and, possibly, criminal.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read News