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ATF hit with $25 million 'Fast and Furious' lawsuit

(ARIZONA REPUBLIC) — The family of slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry filed a $25 million wrongful death claim Wednesday against the federal government, saying he was killed because U.S. investigators allowed murder weapons into the hands of criminals.

Terry died Dec. 14, 2010, when his special-operations unit got into a shootout with border bandits in a remote canyon area near Rio Rico. At the scene, investigators found two AK-47s that were traced back to a gun-smuggling probe by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Congressional investigations and Department of Justice records have since revealed that ATF agents allowed as many as 1,400 guns to be transported into Mexico, and that the AK-47s were purchased by a known firearms trafficker. The so-called “gun-walking” strategy used in Operation Fast and Furious remains the subject of inquiries by Congress and the Department of Justice’s inspector general.