The Operation Fast and Furious Timeline

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and specific departments within the  Justice Department finally figured out (or accepted the fact) that a majority of the guns used by Mexican drug cartels come from their side of the border (took them long enough). Hence, an operation to flush out both the smugglers as well as the buyers was given the green light. The game plan was simple, undertake a sting operation to determine the buyers and then spearhead or aid local authorities in surveillance, arrest, and prosecution. Of course, some commentators argue that this operation, if successful will bolster the case of additional gun control in Congress.

Operation Fast and Furious formally started October 2009 and ended 2011. The operation was named in reference to the Hollywood movie involving fast cars and illegal activities operated within auto repair shops which was the case in this operation. The operation started off using evidence, assets, and suspects from previous failed attempts at prosecution based on lack of evidence.

October 26, 2009 Department of Justice in Washington, D.C
A strategic decision to identify, arrest, and prosecute the big boys of arms trafficking was discussed. There was no suggestion of “gunwalking” at this point but the same was already a fait accompli especially given the earlier operation wide receiver. Gunwalking means selling “marked guns” and then following the buyer to identify the network of the same rather than arresting the buyer immediately.


November 2009:
Phoenix office’s Group VII took the lead. They specifically targeted one buyer who initially bought around 34 firearms within 24 days. This number grew to 600 firearms within the span of a few months. The strategy was simple, let the buyer walk out with the merchandise and then tail the same to determine the entirety of the network.


 June 2010: 
Purchases amounted to more or less $1 million dollars. Around 179 weapons purchased via several transactions were found or connected to specific crime scenes. There are varying accounts as to why no arrests were made as of yet but the bottom line was that more than one agency did not want to make the arrest because of lack of evidence or because they wanted to get more data to catch bigger fish.


December 14, 2010:   
U.S. Border Patrol Brian Terry was killed in a firefight against 5 illegal immigrants in Peck Canyon, Santa Cruz County, Arizona. The rifles used in the firefight were immediately tied to operation Fast and Furious. A few days after information regarding the operation in relation to the death of Agent Brian Terry were leaked and began circulating on the internet via social networking sites.


January 25, 2011: 
The leak forced officers to announce a few details about the case. Damage control was underway hence positive news relevant to operation Fast and Furious were being announced. This includes:

  • 53-count indictment
  • 20 suspects
  • hundreds of guns confiscated

October 20, 2011:  
In total around 2,020 firearms of various calibers (i.e. Barrett, sniper rifles, AK-47s, FN Five-sevens, etc.) were bought via operation Fast and Furious. However, only 389 were recovered in the US and 276 recovered in Mexico. Around 1355 guns still remain unaccounted for.


This Timeline Need’s A Curator: 
The controversy around Operation Fast and Furious isn’t going away any time soon.  Would you like to join our hopeless cause to archive everything cool here at Histowiki.com by curating this page?  The benefits are… 1)   get your Bio right here to get some street cred, 2) free press releases written and submitted by us every time you update the content,  3) we promote YOU as the authority anytime Media needs an interview [optional], 4) get a link back to your social profile to meet other people fascinated with this story , 5) get another link back to another site you own or like, 6) free membership to our HistoWiki Exclusive How-To section where we show videos on how to do cool things like how to blog for fun and profit, and that’s not all.  To get the whole enchilada on this, go to our F.A.Q. page here.

Are we missing anything?  Do any of these entries NOT belong? Feel free to make some suggestions below!  And hit the Facebook Like button if coming to this page made it worth coming to HistoWiki.com today.  Bookmark us now and follow the Timeline’s up coming changes by hitting the “Subscribe to” button below in the comment section!

A big Thank You to the contributors below for helping us stay up to date:


Do you have a correction or valuable addition to the timeline? Context matters! Click here and help this timeline’s curator get the history right!

gplus-profile-picture

Written by Curator 1

↓