Operation Fast and Furious Fast Facts


Here’s a look at Operation Fast and Furious. From 2009-2011, the Phoenix Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), along with other partners, tracked down sellers and buyers believed to be connected to Mexico who authorized the sale of illegal firearms. drug cartels

During the Fast and Furious investigation, nearly 2,000 firearms were illegally purchased for $1.5 million, according to the DOJ inspector general’s report. Hundreds of guns were later recovered in the United States and Mexico.

In 2010, two Fast and Furious-related guns turned up near the scene of the killing of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in the Arizona desert.

The whistleblowing led to investigations by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. In the House investigation, Attorney General Eric Holder was cited for contempt.

Fast and Furious was one of the operations of Project Gunrunner, part of the Justice Department’s broader National Counter-Narcotics Strategy on the Southwest Border.

Operation Fast and Furious was not the ATF’s first “gun walking” investigation, which allowed illegally purchased firearms to be “walked” through gun shops. It was preceded by Operation Wide Receiver, which began in 2006.

October 31, 2009 – Phoenix-based ATF agents receive a tip from a local gun store about four people making suspicious purchases of assault rifles. Agents begin investigating whether the individuals were “straw buyers” working in a large-scale illegal arms-trafficking organization. The probe later became known as Operation Fast and Furious.

December 14, 2010 – Terry He died in a shootout in the Arizona desert. Five men involved in the shooting are later tried for murder. An associate was later convicted of conspiracy and firearms offenses in connection with the murder. The last suspect was arrested in 2017 and is awaiting trial.

January 25, 2011 – The US Attorney’s Office in Arizona has announced that 34 suspects have been indicted for trafficking firearms from the US to Mexico. The DOJ inspector general later announced that 20 of the defendants were caught by Fast and Furious.

January 27, 2011 – Senator Chuck Grassley of the Senate Judiciary Committee sends a letter to Kenneth Melson, acting director of the ATF, investigating the agency’s firearms trafficking investigation and alleging that the ATF allowed hundreds of assault weapons to be smuggled into Mexico. He stated that the two guns were used by Terry’s killers.

March 3, 2011 – Melson announces that a panel has been formed “to review the Bureau’s current firearms trafficking strategies by field division supervisors and special agents.”

April 1, 2011 – House Oversight Committee issues subpoena for ATF documents.

May 3, 2011 – The holder testifies before the Judicial Committee of the Chamber. He said he only heard it for the first time in the last few weeks on Fast and Furious.

June 2011 – Whistleblowers testify on Capitol Hill.

July 12, 2011 – Sources told CNN the ATF lost 1,400 guns.

July 26, 2011 – The House Oversight Committee holds a second hearing.

August 30, 2011 – DOJ removes Melson as acting director of ATF and reassigns him to the Office of Legal Policy. B. Todd Jones replaces Melson as acting director of the ATF.

October 12, 2011 – The House Oversight Committee issues a subpoena for communications from Holder and other DOJ officials.

November 8, 2011 – The incumbent testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “This operation was flawed in its concept and flawed in its execution,” he says.

February 1, 2012 – Terry’s family has filed a $25 million wrongful-death lawsuit in federal court. The case is later dismissed.

February 2, 2012 – The incumbent testifies before the Supervisory Committee of the Chamber. He says DOJ officials will hold Fast and Furious accountable.

June 12, 2012 – Holder has rejected calls from Republicans to deny his resignation at a House Oversight Committee hearing.

June 20, 2012 – Republicans on the House Oversight Committee recommend holding Holder in contempt of Congress for not turning over documents related to Fast and Furious. The recommendation comes after President Barack Obama declared executive privilege over some of the documents requested by the commission.

June 28, 2012 – The House of Representatives voted 255-67 to hold Holder in criminal contempt of Congress. It is the first time in American history that the head of the Department of Justice is held in contempt by Congress.

July 6, 2012 – The White House and DOJ have announced that Holder will not face criminal charges as a result of the contempt of Congress subpoena.

July 31, 2012 – The first of a three-part joint congressional report has been released. The report calls for the resignation of ATF Deputy Director William Hoover.

August 13, 2012 – House Oversight Committee files civil suit against Holder over Fast and Furious documents. On January 19, 2016, a federal judge ordered the DOJ to release thousands of pages of documents.

September 19, 2012 – The DOJ Inspector General releases a report on the operation, concluding that Holder was not aware of Fast and Furious until 2011. Inspector General Finds 14 ATF and DOJ Employees Responsible for Mismanagement. After the report was released, Melson retired, and an assistant attorney general resigned.

October 29, 2012 – The second part of the three-part joint congressional report has been released.

December 12, 2012 – The DOJ has announced that arms dealer Jaime Avila has been sentenced to 57 months in prison for his role in purchasing the weapons found at the scene of Terry’s shooting death.

January 2013 – Although he was not involved in the shooting that killed Terry, Rito Osorio-Arellanes has been sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to obstruct commerce by robbery.

February 10, 2014 – Manuel Osorio-Arellanes has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for first degree murder in connection with Terry’s death.

November 3, 2014 – Under a judge’s order, the Justice Department is turning over nearly 65,000 pages of Fast and Furious-related documents. The documents were previously withheld by the Obama administration under a claim of executive privilege.

October 1, 2015 – Two other suspects in Terry’s death, Jesus Leonel Sanchez-Meza and Ivan Soto-Barraza, have pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and other charges. Later they receive life sentences.

October 19, 2015 – Rosario Rafael Burboa-Alvarez has been sentenced to 27 years in prison after being charged with first degree murder in Terry’s death.

April 8, 2016 – DOJ releases additional documents on Fast and Furious, as ordered by a federal judge.

April 12, 2017 – Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, the fugitive cartel wanted in connection with Terry’s death, has been arrested in Mexico. He is later found guilty of first degree murder and other charges and sentenced to life in prison.

June 7, 2017 – The third part of the congress report has been published.

October 2017 – Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, the last of the seven suspects wanted for Terry’s death, has been arrested in Mexico.

May 8, 2019 – The House and the Department of Justice announce to a federal appeals court that they reached a settlement in the Operation Fast and Furious case on April 10, 2019. In the agreement, both sides stated that they are dropping their appeals and the case, despite their disagreement. previous court orders.

January 31, 2020 – Favela-Astorga has been extradited to the United States.