9 On Your Side Border Watch
ATF official apologizes for mistakes in gun probe
Web Producer: Layla Tang
WASHINGTON (AP) - The government is admitting mistakes in its controversial program to let high powered guns flow into Mexico. An official of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives apologized during congressional testimony today in Washington.
William McMahon, the head of ATF's western region, told leaders in Congress that the agency had good intentions when it launched Operation Fast and Furious in 2009. But looking back, McMahon said here are things ATF would have done differently.
McMahon, the highest-ranking ATF official to testify publicly about the operation, says he failed to keep close enough track of the investigation in Arizona. The program focused on several Phoenix area gun shops.
It allowed people with ties to the Mexican drug cartels to illegally purchase high powered weapons and bring them into Mexico. The goal was to develop cases against gunrunning ring leaders who had eluded previous tactics.
But officials said one of those guns was used in the murder of border patrol agent Brian Terry. He was shot and killed December 14, 2010 near Rio Rico..