ATF supervisors promoted despite Fast and Furious scandal


by Jared Dillingham

Bio | Email | Follow: @JaredDillingham

Posted on August 17, 2011 at 9:17 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 18 at 9:00 AM

PHOENIX -- Documents leaked by Congress reveal guns involved in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Explosive's failed "Fast and Furious" undercover gun operation keep turning up at violent crime scenes.

ATF whistle-blowers say agents in the Phoenix office were told to allow illegal gun sales to known smugglers. Under the Fast and Furious plan, the ATF wanted to track the guns to cartel leaders but they lost track of 1,400 weapons involved.

Two of the guns the ATF allowed to be sold to smugglers turned up at the scene in Southern Arizona, where Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in January of 2011.

This week the ATF revealed the agency has "become aware of 11 [more] instances" of "Fast and Furious" guns turning up at violent crime scenes.

While ATF agents in charge of the operation have defended their strategy in front of Congress, the investigation continues.  

At the same time, three Phoenix-based agents who supervised Fast and Furious have been brought up the ranks to new jobs with the ATF in Washington, DC.

The promotions have been met with criticism from some, including members of the congressional panels investigating Fast and Furious.

"It's inconceivable to reward those who spearheaded this disastrous operation with cushy desks in Washington," said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas.

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