Fed Gun Sting in Fla. Mirrored Fast and Furious, Republicans Say

Thursday, 14 Jul 2011 12:41 PM

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Republicans are asking tough questions about a federal gun sting in Florida that they say was run similarly to the controversial Fast and Furious operation in Arizona.

During the operation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in Arizona, agents purposefully sold guns to criminals associated with Mexican drug cartels, who then transferred the weapons to the gangs. The feds’ idea was to then track the guns, but many have been used in crimes, including the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

The recently discovered ATF investigation in Tampa, Operation Castaway, operated parallel to Fast and Furious under the ATF Project Gunrunner initiative, feeding weapons to gangs in Honduras, as repoted in the Daily Caller.

“In recent days, it has come to light that the ATF and [Department of Justice] have participated in the act of ‘gun walking’ beyond the acts conducted within the scope of ‘Operation Fast and Furious,’” Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder and ATF head Ken Melson.

Bilirakis lambasted the idea that the government would “willfully allow weapons to be acquired by dangerous criminal and drug trafficking organizations in direct contravention to our strategic and national interests.”

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