Justice Department provides gun-operation documents

Posted at 1:04 PM, Mar 17, 2012
and last updated 2012-03-17 12:39:42-04
By Terry Frieden, CNN Justice Department Producer

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Justice Department late Friday provided hundreds of pages of internal documents to the House committee looking into Operation Fast and Furious and related programs.

The documents sent to Rep. Darrell Issa, the California Republican who heads the committee that subpoenaed them, focus heavily on other Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operations in which weapons were trafficked from Arizona gun dealers through straw purchasers across the border to Mexican drug cartels.

Most of the documents deal with a 2007 operation involving Fidel Hernandez, who the ATF believed would be prosecuted for gun violations in Mexico by Mexican authorities.

The ATF, then under the control of the Bush administration, planned to follow the weapons to the border, where Mexico police would continue with the operation. However, Mexican officials reported they never saw the vehicle and the weapons were lost.

Attorney General Eric Holder has promised Congress that he has strictly prohibited any further cross-border gun trafficking operations.

He has also vowed to bring to justice the killers of Customs and Border Protection Agent Brian Terry, who was shot to death in Arizona. Weapons that were lost in Mexico in Operation Fast and Furious turned up at the murder site in Arizona.

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