Chalk up two more victims for the Obama administration’s Operation Fast and Furious. According to the Los Angeles Times, Justice Department records show that a high-powered rifle sold to a straw buyer as part of the “gunwalking” program was used to kill a Mexican police chief and his bodyguard earlier this year.
“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,” the Times reported. “Also killed was one of his bodyguards. His wife and a second bodyguard were wounded.”
Eight suspects, members of drug cartels in the area, were arrested after police found them nearby with a cache of weapons. Some of the suspects have confessed to other shootouts in the area, according to local officials.
Among the weapons found in their possession was the semi-automatic WASR rifle that was used to kill the police chief. That rifle was traced back to the Lone Wolf Trading Company, a gun shop in Glendale, Arizona, that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) used in Fast and Furious, deliberately permitting illegal purchasers to obtain guns there allegedly so that the bureau could trace the guns to Mexican drug cartel leaders.
“The notation on the Department of Justice trace records,” wrote the Times, “said the WASR was used in a ‘HOMICIDE – WILLFUL – KILL – PUB OFF – GUN’ — ATF code for ‘Homicide, Willful Killing of a Public Official, Gun.’”
The murder weapon “was purchased on Feb. 22, 2010, about three months into the Fast and Furious operation, by 26-year-old Jacob A. Montelongo of Phoenix,” said the newspaper. Montelongo ended up buying “at least 109 firearms during Fast and Furious,” and “later pleaded guilty to conspiracy, making false statements and smuggling goods from the United States and was sentenced to 41 months in prison.”
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