- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A massive rifle found among a cache of weapons at Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s hideout in Mexico came in to the country via the U.S.’ botched “Fast and Furious” program.

The .50-caliber rifle is capable of stopping a car or taking down a helicopter.

After the Jan. 8 raid that led to the notorious drug lord’s recapture, officials found a number of weapons inside the house where Mr. Guzman was staying, including the rifle, sources told Fox News.

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ran the serial numbers of eight of the weapons found in the house and discovered one of the two .50-caliber rifles kept there traced back to the ATF program.

Officials said they are not sure how many of the weapons found in the house originated from the U.S. program and where they were purchased, but they are investigating, Fox reported.

Between 2009 and 2011, federal officials allowed criminals to buy guns with the intention of tracking them to gain information on weapons movement across the southern border.

Instead, agents from the ATF lost track of 1,400 of the 2,000 guns sold in the sting operation.

Out of the 2,000 weapons sold, 34 were .50-caliber rifles.

Federal law enforcement told Fox News that Mr. Guzman’s guardsmen would be posted on hilltops with the huge guns to keep an eye out for Mexican police helicopters.

This is the third time weapons sold through the “Fast and Furious” operation has been found at a high-profile Mexican crime scene.

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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