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Bungled ATF Sting Lost Track of More Than 1K Firearms

House hearing on Operation Fast and Furious held today
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2011 7:11 AM CDT
Operation Fast and Furious: Bungled ATF Gun Sting Lost Track of More Than 1,000 Firearms
ATF agents lost track of more than 1,000 guns during a controversial operation.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Operation Fast and Furious, the bungled ATF gun-trafficking probe, was even more bungled than originally thought: Federal agents lost track of more than 1,000 firearms purchased by suspected gun smugglers during the Arizona investigation. The information comes from a new congressional report ahead of a House hearing today examining the ATF's tactics during the 2009 and 2010 operation, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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Operation Fast and Furious was supposed to build a case against top smugglers funneling weapons to Mexican drug cartels, but the GOP lawmakers examining the probe say it was reckless, and that agents should have known they would not be able to account for the firearms they let suspects purchase. Of the 1,418 firearms purchased by suspected smugglers, 1,048 have not been traced or recovered. One ATF attaché's deputy calls the operation "the perfect storm of idiocy." (Read more ATF stories.)

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