Inspector General Reviewing Purchase of Pistol Linked to Fast and Furious Supervisor
By Elizabeth Murphy | January 11, 2013 4:51 pm

The Justice Department’s Inspector General is looking into allegations that a pistol found in the area of a deadly Mexican shootout in November is linked to an Operation Fast and Furious supervisor at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

George Gillett, ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge in Phoenix, allegedly purchased a semi-automatic pistol found at the scene of a fatal November shootout in Sinaloa, Mexico, according to documents made public last month by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa). Five were killed in the shootout, including Sinaloa beauty queen Maria Susana Flores Gamez.

Gillett was listed on three Arizona firearm purchase forms, ranging from December 2009 to  January 2010. Grassley in December called on Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz to review whether Gillett purchased the firearms and whether his conduct was legal. The department confirmed to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that the Inspector General was looking into the issue. Grassley also contended in his letter to Horowitz that Gillett used bogus addresses on some of the gun forms, which would constitute a felony offense.

Gillett previously said  he could not comment on the matter but that the transactions were lawful. The ATF supervisor was faulted by the Inspector General’s Office earlier this year for his role in Fast and Furious. The report said Gillett’s “supervision and judgment in Fast and Furious was seriously deficient.”

The operation aimed to track some 2,000 guns sold to straw buyers in the U.S., who would in turn smuggle them into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. The investigation backfired when hundreds of guns went missing. ATF agents had hoped to take down high-level cartel members by tracking the guns back to them.

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