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El Paso A ‘Hub’ For Weapons Smuggling

El Paso has become an important firearms-smuggling center for the Sinaloa drug cartel, which is engaged in an ongoing battle against its rivals in Juárez and Mexico, according to a new U.S. congressional report on Operation Fast and Furious.
The May 3 report issued by the U.S. Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is the latest update on the congressional investigation into the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ controversial gun-walking operation, which began in 2009.
“Three months into Operation Fast and Furious, El Paso had emerged as a central hub for the transport of weapons being smuggled by Manuel Celis-Acosta’s syndicate,” the report said.
“Since the beginning of Fast and Furious, ATF intelligence analysts had noticed an eastern shift in weapons crossing the border — from Tijuana and Arizona to El Paso and Juárez.”
Fast and Furious also may have enabled Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán’s Sinaloa cartel to carve out its new smuggling routes through Juárez and El Paso.
Although local law enforcement in El Paso was asked to assist with the operation, the U.S. Department of Justice has not provided details about the local efforts, including whether they were linked to the Fast and Furious weapons that were used in the 2010 kidnapping-murder of lawyer Mario González Rodríguez, brother of former Chihuahua state Attorney General Patricia González Rodríguez.-[source]

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