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A dramatic shootout between authorities and suspected cartel gunmen at a Mexican seaside resort this month has ties to a botched U.S. gun operation. A U.S. official said Tuesday that investigators have traced at least one firearm recovered at a December 18 gunfight in Puerto Peñasco, across from the Arizona border, to Operation Fast and Furious.
That's the disastrous operation run by agents in the Phoenix office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Agents allowed suspected gun smugglers to buy about 2,000 firearms with the goal of trying to find and prosecute high-level traffickers. They couldn't track the firearms and most are believed to have ended up with cartels and gangsters in Mexico.
Many have turned up at crime scenes in Mexico and the United States, including at a shooting that killed a U.S. border agent in 2010.