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Report: Feds in Texas failed to nab guns

Nov. 20, 2011 at 1:10 PM   |   Comments

DALLAS, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Newly released documents indicate federal agents may have lost track of weapons sold to Mexican drug operatives in Texas.

Documents obtained by the Houston Chronicle noted that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had evidence implicating the alleged purchaser of a high-powered pistol but did not act in time to prevent its use in the shootings of two U.S. Customs agents in Mexico.

The newspaper said Sunday the case against suspect Otilio Osorio did not come together until nearly two weeks after the gun he bought in Joshua, Texas, in October 2010 was used in the attack on the two agents.

Osorio's case was not part of the now-infamous Operation Fast and Furious in Arizona, but it has Republican lawmakers turning up the heat on the Obama administration for supposedly allowing so-called gun walking to occur in the Lone Star State.

"The attorney general has taken every opportunity to sidestep and stonewall, and until he reassures Texans that gun-walking never occurred in our state, I will continue to press him for answers," Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told the Chronicle.

The Chronicle said ATF documents show Osorio's name surfaced in August and September on a routine listing of individuals who made multiple firearm purchases. The shooting in Mexico, which left Agent Jaime Zapata dead and his partner wounded, occurred four months later.

An ATF official in Dallas told the Chronicle they get a large number of reports of multiple gun purchases on a regular basis and denied agents purposely allowed Osorio to allegedly smuggle the guns into Mexico without interference.

"This case has nothing to do with Fast and Furious," said AT spokesman Thomas Crowley. "There hasn't been any gun-walking in the Dallas division of ATF."

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