Records show a gun smuggling operation run by former town officials in Columbus, N.M., had a direct link to targets of the bungled "Fast and Furious" operation run by federal officials in Arizona.
Federal prosecutors have sought to distance the Columbus gun smuggling case from the Arizona probe.
But reports obtained by the Albuquerque Journal show federal agents were aware in early 2010 that the leader of the Columbus ring had been stopped a few months earlier with weapons purchased by a suspect involved in the Fast and Furious case.
That connection apparently dried up and ringleader and town trustee Blas "Woody" Gutierrez began buying guns himself and paying others to buy guns for him from a New Mexico dealer. He has pleaded guilty to gun smuggling but hasn't been sentenced.
Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Monday, July 28 2014 1:54 AM EDT2014-07-28 05:54:28 GMT
Authorities now say 14 people - including a 15-year-old - have been struck by lightning during rare summer thunderstorms that have swept through Southern California, injuring two critically.More >
A 20-year-old man died Sunday after lightning struck or rattled 13 people at a popular Los Angeles beach and a golfer on Catalina Island during summer thunderstorms that swept through Southern California, authorities said.More >