Four senior ATF managers who supervised the botched Fast and Furious gunrunning investigation could face termination if the recommendations of a disciplinary board are upheld.
The four managers of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were among 14 Justice Department employees singled out for possible disciplinary actions by the department’s inspector general in a September report because of their mishandling of the failed gunrunning operation that resulted in hundreds of weapons ending up in the hands of Mexican smugglers.
Fast and Furious was an attempt by ATF to stop the flow of illegal weapons into Mexico by allowing “straw buyers” to walk the weapons — including hundreds of AK-47 semiautomatic assault rifles — into Mexico with a goal of tracking them to drug cartel leaders. But the ATF lost track of hundreds of the weapons, 1,400 of which are still unaccounted for.
A federal source confirmed the recommendation to dismiss the agents. The Wall Street Journal first reported the disciplinary actions against the four Tuesday.
Donna Sellers, a spokeswoman for the ATF, said: “As a matter of policy, we don’t discuss personnel matters.”
Mark Zaid, an attorney for one of the men, William McMahon, a former deputy assistant director of ATF who oversaw field operations in the West, said his client was fired last week, reportedly on grounds unrelated to Fast and Furious.