A report could come out before Tuesday about the controversial Fast and Furious gun-trafficking operation, just a few days after a Mexican gunman was arrested in the gang murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
In the operation, guns were shipped from Arizona into Mexico as part of a federal sting operation, in hopes of tracking down violent Mexican gangs after they got hold of the weapons. However, the case backfired when criminals fired on U.S. Border Patrol agents, triggering a federal investigation into the secret operation.
The U.S. Justice Department’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz and staff have examined the operation for more than a year. On Friday, international authorities arrested Leonel Sanchez Jesus Meza in Puerto Penasco, Mexico in connection with the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, who was murdered west of Rio Rico, Mexico. Meza is suspected of being one of five suspects who shot at Terry and other agents, leaving behind two guns connected with the Fast and Furious operation.
Horowitz will testify at a House Oversight Committee hearing Tuesday, but his report is expected to come out before that, the Arizona Daily Star reported early Sunday morning.
The House committee has already put out several reports about the operation, but complained in its last document congressional investigators didn’t have access to witnesses like Horowitz does. House Republicans in particular want to know how high the blame should go for the botched operation.
1. Meza is being held in a Mexican jail, waiting to be sent to the U.S.
2. Critics say informants were were allowed to take guns away from Arizona shops, letting low-level buyers leave with loads of guns to take to kingpins.
3. It’s a political year: The Conservative Caucus is offering a $100,000 reward for information showing that the White House was involved to further a gun-control agenda.
4. Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who blew the whistle on the gun-running, said Terry’s family deserves better treatment:
“There are also some pretty heavy questions that have yet to be answered about who approved Operation Fast and Furious and who turned a blind eye and allowed the program to continue. These are important answers that will help us make sure something so stupid never happens again.”
5. Attorney General Eric Holder’s in the hot seat, after the House held him in contempt for not turning over document. In July, he and the DOJ unsealed indictments of the Mexicans charged. President Barack Obama has asserted executive privilege over documents GOP lawmakers want.
6. Critics, though, are still complaining the report will be a cover-up, not a real report.
IS THIS A COVERUP FOR OBAMA AND HOLDER? Long Awaited Fast and Furious Report To Be Released : Freedom Outpost: freedomoutpost.com/2012/09/long-a…
— Bob Miller (@Miller51550) September 8, 2012
7. Two murder suspects have been arrested in Terry’s killing. Four more suspects remain at large. They are Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, 31, Ivan Soto-Barraza, 34, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, 34, and a man identified as Lionel Portillo-Meza, which Mexican police said was an alias of another man arrested on Thursday in Puerto Penasco.
8. Attention, bounty hunters. There is $1 million in rewards on their heads.
9. Manuel Osorio-Arellanes was shot during the gunfight and has been in custody since that night. He says he lifted his gun but didn’t shoot.
10. The suspects initially came to the U.S. from Mexico to rob marijuana smugglers, the FBI says.