(BOSTON HERALD) — Seven months after federal ATF agents launched the ill-fated Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation, they stumbled upon their main suspect in a remote Arizona outpost on the Mexican border, driving an old BMW with 74 rounds of ammunition and nine cellphones hidden inside.

Detained for questioning that day in May 2010, Manuel Fabian Celis-Acosta described his close association with a top Mexican drug cartel member, according to documents obtained this weekend by the Los Angeles Times/Tribune Washington Bureau. The top Fast and Furious investigator, Special Agent Hope MacAllister, scribbled her phone number on a $10 bill after he pledged to cooperate and keep in touch with investigators.

Then Celis-Acosta disappeared into Mexico. He never called.

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