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Rifle lost in Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation kills Mexican police chief

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By McClatchy Newspapers
Friday, July 5, 2013, 9:27 p.m.
 

A high-powered rifle lost in the ATF's Fast and Furious controversy was used to kill a Mexican police chief in the state of Jalisco this year, according to internal Department of Justice records, suggesting that weapons from the failed gun-tracking operation have now made it into the hands of violent drug cartels deep inside Mexico.

Luis Lucio Rosales Astorga, the police chief in the city of Hostotipaquillo, was shot to death Jan. 29 when gunmen intercepted his patrol car and opened fire. One of his bodyguards was killed. His wife and a second bodyguard were wounded.

A semi-automatic WASR rifle, the firearm that killed the chief, was traced back to Lone Wolf Trading Co., a gun store in Glendale, Ariz.

Hundreds of firearms were lost in the Fast and Furious operation. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed illegal purchasers to buy the firearms at the Lone Wolf store in the Phoenix suburb and other gun shops in hopes of tracing them to Mexican cartel leaders.

Instead of being tracked, almost all the weapons were lost as they flooded across the border into Mexico. In all, about 211 people were killed or wounded by Fast and Furious weapons in Mexico, according to Mexican authorities.

And on this side of the border, a Fast and Furious weapon was found at the Arizona scene where U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was slain in 2010.

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