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In the Arizona-based Fast and Furious operation, 20 “straw buyers” purchased more than 2,000 weapons between September 2009 and December 2010, many of which were walked into Mexico and turned over the Mexican drug smugglers. The weapons included AK-47 assault weapons, Barrett .50-caliber sniper rifles, FN 5.7mm semi automatic pistols and other assorted rifles, shotguns and handguns — many of which remain unaccounted for.

The straw buyers paid as much as $900,000 for the weapons, with much of the illicit cash being furnished by the drug cartels.