ATF implicates FBI in Mexico gun-trafficking probe.

The embattled head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,…

The embattled head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has told congressional investigators that some Mexican drug cartel figures targeted by his agency in a gun-trafficking investigation were paid informants for the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration.

Kenneth E. Melson, the ATF’s acting director, has been under pressure to resign after the agency allowed guns to be purchased in the United States in hopes they would be traced to cartel leaders. Under the gun-trafficking operation known as Fast and Furious, the ATF lost track of the guns, and many were found at the scenes of crimes in Mexico, as well as two that were recovered near Nogales, Ariz., where a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed.

As a result of Melson’s statements, “our investigation has clearly expanded,” a source close to the congressional investigation said Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the inquiry is ongoing. “We know now it was not something limited to just a small group of ATF agents in Arizona.”

Source: Richard A. Serrano for The San Francisco Chronicle.

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