The family of slain Border Patrol agent Brian Terry is suing federal officials and a gun shop over the botched “Fast and Furious” gunrunning operation that remains a dark stain on the Obama administration’s disgraced Justice Department. Terry was shot and killed on December 14, 2010, during a firefight north of the Arizona-Mexico border between border agents and men who had crossed the southern border to rob a group of drug smugglers.
Assault rifles obtained by a straw buyer for the gunrunning ring targeted in the Fast and Furious operation were found in the aftermath of the firefight. To add to the controversy, other guns purchased by the ring were later discovered at crime scenes in Mexico and the United States.
The contentious effort was launched in 2009 to catch trafficking kingpins, but agents lost track of some 1,400 of the more than 2,000 weapons involved in the operation. Federal officials who had administered Fast and Furious have met heated criticisms for permitting suspected straw gun buyers to acquire weapons from gun shops in Arizona, rather than being arrested and having the weapons seized.
The 27-page lawsuit, which was filed late last week, asserts that the defendants “created, organized, implemented and/or participated in a plan — code named ‘Operation Fast and Furious’ — to facilitate the distribution of dangerous firearms to violent criminals.” Furthermore, the lawsuit states, the defendants "knew or should have known that their actions would cause substantial injuries, significant harm, and even death to Mexican and American civilians and law enforcement, but were recklessly indifferent to the consequence of their actions."
Those implicated in the lawsuit, as summarized by CBS News, included:
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Photo of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry: AP Images