Two Sentenced for Operation Fast and Furious Gun Smuggling

PHOTO: Operation Fast and Furious involved agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives tracking illegally purchased guns as a way of identifying and prosecuting high-level arms traffickers.
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Two men were sentenced to time in prison for their involvement in a gun-smuggling ring related to the botched Fast and Furious gun-walking operation.

Jacob Anthony Montelongo was sentenced to more than three years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy and dealing in guns without a license, and Sean Christopher Steward faces nine years in prison for conspiracy and making false statements to authorities, reports the Associated Press.

See Also: Congressional Inquiry into Fast and Furious

According to the Justice Department, Montelongo and Steward were two members of a group of straw buyers who illegally purchased weapons for traffickers and Mexican drug cartels.

Operation Fast and Furious involved agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives tracking illegally purchased guns, instead of intercepting them immediately, as a way of identifying and prosecuting high-level arms traffickers.

Agents lost track of many of the guns and some of the weapons were found at crime scenes in Mexico. Two guns were found at the scene of the 2010 killing of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

The operation has drawn criticism from Congressman Darrell Issa (R-California) who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Issa and other Republicans have criticized Obama for using executive privilege to prevent the release of some information relating to the operation, and the House voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for withholding information from investigators.

Republicans in the House sued Holder, the head of the Justice Department, to enforce a subpoena for documents. Lawyers for the Justice Department and congressional Republicans told a federal judge on Tuesday that they were involved in talks to settle the lawsuit, according to Reuters.

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