ATF director to resign over gun-running operation, agency sources say.

The acting director of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco…

The acting director of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives is expected to step down because of a controversial gun-running investigation that allowed weapons to be sold to suspected agents of Mexican drug cartels, according to two sources inside the agency.

Kenneth Melson’s resignation, which could happen as early as this week, is the most significant repercussion yet from a growing public outcry over the “Fast and Furious” operation, under which ATF agents watched while straw purchasers acquired more than 1,700 AK-47s and other high-powered rifles from Arizona gun dealers and delivered them to others.

Hundreds of the weapons turned up at crime scenes in Mexico and the United States, including in southern Arizona last December when a Border Patrol agent was shot to death.

Source: Richard A. Serrano and Kim Murphy for Boston Herald.

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