Another weapon from the Justice Department’s bungled gunrunning Operation Fast and Furious has turned up — this one at a crime scene in Mexico where a shootout killed a Mexican beauty queen and four people.
Congressional investigators told CBS News
that the weapon, a Romanian AK-47-type WASR-10 rifle, was found at a crime scene on Nov. 23 in Ciudad Guamuchil, Sinaloa, Mexico.
The site was likely where a shootout occurred between reported Sinaloa drug cartel members and the Mexican military. The Sinaloa beauty queen, Maria Susana Flores Gamez, and four others were killed, CBS reports.
Iowa GOP Sen. Charles Grassley told CBS that the Justice Department did not disclose the finding to Congress in November, even though Grassley requested an accounting of all weapons that have surfaced from the case.
Fast and Furious was run out of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Under the bungled operation, more than 2,000 weapons — including giant .50-caliber guns — fell into the hands of Mexican drug cartels and other criminals, CBS reports.
Most of the weapons have never been recovered.
A trace report on the latest finding showed that the rifle was purchased by Uriel Patino, the Fast and Furious suspect who allegedly bought more than 700 weapons while under ATF's watch, CBS reports.
Patino bought the rifle and nine other semi-automatic rifles at an Arizona gun shop on March 16, 2010, records show.
Grassley has requested more information from the Justice Department. He also asked in a letter whether officials were planning to notify Congress "that a Fast and Furious weapon had been recovered," CBS reports.
The Justice Department has not responded to a CBS request for comment.
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