Department of Justice Confirms “Fast and Furious” Rifle Found at El Chapo Hideout

holder-and-obamaBy Derrick Broze

The U.S. Department of Justice has confirmed that a .50-caliber rifle found at the hideout of drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera was connected to the failed “gun-walking” operation known as Operation Fast and Furious.

The Justice Department sent a letter to Congress confirming that a .50 caliber rifle discovered at El Chapo’s hideout was associated with Operation Fast and Furious. The new information from the DOJ confirms a report from Fox in late January. Operation Fast and Furious was a program in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) knowingly sold guns to Mexican drug cartels.

According to a report in the LA Times:

The term ‘gun walking’ is central to the failure of Fast and Furious. Agents with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives purposely allowed licensed firearms dealers to sell weapons to illegal straw buyers, hoping to track the guns to Mexican drug cartel leaders and arrest them. But they lost track of more than 2,000 weapons, and the Mexican government says some of them have turned up at about 170 crime scenes there.

Department of Justice officials said the rifle was one of 19 weapons found at the drug lord’s hideout during his arrest in January. The .50-caliber rifle was the only one linked to Operation Fast and Furious. The Associated Press reports:

A former U.S. official said four other firearms connected to Fast and Furious were found at a hideout in Culiacan, Mexico, where Guzman narrowly escaped capture in February 2014. He was captured about a week later in the seaside resort of Mazatlan.

As of January, 885 firearms purchased by targets of Operation Fast and Furious had been recovered, according to the Justice Department. Several of those have been linked to violent crimes, including a 2010 firefight near the Mexican border during which Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed.

“ATF and the department deeply regret that firearms associated with Operation Fast and Furious have been used by criminals in the commission of violent crimes, particularly crimes resulting in the deaths of civilians and law enforcement officials,” Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik, head of the Justice Department’s legislative affairs office, wrote.

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It should also be noted that as recently as January 2014 El Chapo was reported to have some sort of partnership with the U.S. government. Business Insider reported:

An investigation by El Universal found that between the years 2000 and 2012, the U.S. government had an arrangement with Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel that allowed the organization to smuggle billions of dollars of drugs while Sinaloa provided information on rival cartels.

There have long been allegations that Guzman, considered to be “the world’s most powerful drug trafficker,” coordinates with American authorities.

Despite attempts by the Obama Administration and former Attorney General Eric Holder to silence the truth about Fast and Furious, details have emerged. Before leaving office, Holder was found in contempt by the House of Representatives for his refusal to hand over documents related to the operation. These documents likely indicate that Attorney General Eric Holder knew more than he admitted while under oath.

On June 20, 2012 President Obama used executive privilege to keep the documents from the public. Just last week, a federal judge ruled that Obama cannot use executive privilege to keep those records secret from Congress.

According to heavily redacted emails, Holder was told about Fast and Furious in memos in July, October and November 2010. However, on March 10th, 2011, Holder testified before a Senate subcommittee that he had just learned about the Fast and Furious gun-walking allegations.

According to documents obtained by N4T, the ATF was not accurate in its assessment that the Fast and Furious program was only active in Phoenix, Arizona. N4T reports that weapons from a gunstore used by the ATF have been found in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Hermosillo, Mexico.  The weapons were stolen in October 2010, two months before Fast and Furious weapons were found at the death of Brian Terry, from the Lone Wolf Trading Company gun store in Glendale, Arizona.

Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for and the founder of the Follow him on Twitter.

Derrick is available for interviews.

This article may be freely reposted in part or in full with author attribution and source link.

  • dale ruff

    1. Let’s start by advocating rational gun laws. “A 2009 GAO report on efforts to combat arms trafficking to Mexico notes that straw purchasing is not in itself illegal, although it is illegal to provide false information in connection with a purchase.” Shouldn’t straw purchasing be illegal?

    2. Let’s go back to the first such program under Bush: “The first known ATF “gunwalking” operation to Mexican drug cartels, named Operation Wide Receiver, began in early 2006 and ran into late 2007. Detty would sell a total of about 450 guns during the operation.[30] These included AR-15s, semi-automatic AK-pattern rifles, and Colt .38s. The majority of the guns were eventually lost as they moved into Mexico……. only 64 of the 474 guns had actually been seized. ……..At the time, under the Bush administration Department of Justice (DOJ), no arrests or indictments were made. After President Barack Obama took office in 2009, the DOJ reviewed Wide Receiver and found that guns had been allowed into the hands of suspected gun traffickers. Indictments began in 2010, over three years after Wide Receiver concluded..”

    3. If we had rational gun laws, none of this would have happened.

    • Bob Jones

      I don’t know what you’re talking about – of course straw purchases are illegal. When you fill out the federal paperwork, one of the questions asked is if the gun is being purchased for someone other than yourself – if you answer yes, you cannot complete the purchase.

      And how can we have “rational” gun laws, when the government is being run by people who deliberately violate the laws we already have, just to make an excuse to pass more laws we don’t need? There’s nothing rational about that, and anyone who’d do such a thing wouldn’t know rational if they tripped over it.

      • dale ruff

        The existing laws have no teeth, no enforcement mechanism, and violations are rarely pursued. Bad laws are worse than none since they offer the illusion of a legal entity.

        Under the law, which uses the “honor system,” you can buy a gun from a licensed dealer (of course you can buy it from a private dealer with no such affirmations or checks of any kind) for your own use. And a minute later, you can change your mind and give it to someone else. That is how useless existing law is. How much of a law is one which keep criminals from obtaining guns through the “honor system.?” That is not a law but a joke.

        “There exists no federal statute that specifically outlaws straw purchasing. However, a straw purchase cannot be completed without committing a felony: A federal background check form asks, “Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form?” It’s when a false answer is given to that — or any other question — on a background check form that a crime is committed. The penalty for lying can be as high as a 10-year prison sentence and a fine of $250,000. (Buying a gun as a gift is, of course, OK.)

        The upshot is that the ATF rarely investigates straw purchasers on their own, a spokesperson tells The Trace. U.S. Attorneys offices aren’t interested in them because the act of straw purchasing can be difficult to prove and judges rarely issue severe punishment.”
        (source: The Trace)

        That is what I am talking about and why we need a real law with teeth, enforced with stings and severe penalties for violations. It i absurd to claim that among the 35 advanced nations, only the US cannot have rational gun laws.

  • gweneth

    The Cuba incident – started back in the 1960’s started out as guns for drugs.
    Noriega in 1980’s Panama was guns for drugs.
    This is a win win for the gold collar scum that control the cia – free taxpayer bought guns sold for drugs then brought back and sold to the taxpayers.
    Remember Mena Arkansas – another guns for drugs.
    suggested read:
    ‘Barry and the Boys’ – Hopsicker – hint – poor Barry ended up in the trunk of his own car – and flew for the air texas gaurds.
    Keep sending DeCeipt your tax dollars ( government is the worst investment I have ever been robbed out of).

  • dale ruff

    The core of rational gun laws in all advanced nations is the requirement of universal background checks for all gun sales or transfers, with a chain of custody and a comprehensive background check. Other rational laws include those which disqualify dangerous people such as those convicted of violent crimes, domestic violence, abusers, and violently disturbed mentally ill. These core laws have reduced gun murder by 85-99% in the other 34 advanced nations, including those with many guns.
    Over 90% of the pubic, 85% of gun owners, and 74% of NRA members support such laws.

    Today, anyone can buy from anyone in a private sale (which can be any sale since no records are kept) semi-automatic weapons in 42 states. Laws which filter out dangerous people in no way infringe on the rights of law abiding gun owners, which is why 85% support such laws.

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