Operation Fast and Furious was designed to target and arrest the top gun runners for a Mexican drug cartel. They set up wire-taps on their prime targets and gained information on them and their operations.
According to some of the thousands of pages of documentation on the federal debacle, the prime target of the operation was caught and questioned in May 2010 seven months after the operation had begun. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives located Manuel Fabian Celis-Acosta in an isolated Arizona – Mexico location. He was detained and questioned by Special Agent Hope MacAllister, the agent in charge of the operation.
When agents apprehended Celis-Acosta, he had ammunition and cell phones that were hidden in his car. Caught trying to smuggle ammunition across the US border was sufficient grounds to arrest him. Celis-Acosta told MacAllister his involvement with the drug cartel and promised to keep her informed of their actions. She wrote her number on a $10 bill, handed it to him and then released her number one target of the past seven months of undercover investigation.
Celis-Acosta, agreed to be her informant and then drove across the Mexican border and MacAllister never heard from him again. They know he continued to move back and forth across the border and helped to secure guns and ammunition for the drug cartels but he never upheld his bargained release and provide intel on his boss’s illegal activities.
On December 15, 2010, US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot and killed while trying to arrest armed illegals near Rio Rico, Arizona. The guns used to murder Terry were among those supplied to the drug cartel by Operation Fast and Furious and possibly through the efforts of Celis-Acosta.
Had MacAllister arrested him when they had the chance, there is a likely possibility that Agent Terry may not have been killed that December night by guns supplied by our own government. Additionally, many of the 2,000 guns that BATFE agents allowed to illegally cross the US-Mexican border, have been found at various crime scenes in Mexico and have been directly related to over 300 Mexican murders.
In January 2011 Operation Fast and Furious ended its field operation and began issuing indictments on 20 suspects in the purchasing of firearms for illegal export across the US border.
In February 2011, BATFE agents finally were able to locate and arrest Celis-Acosta but like so many other government operations, it proved to be too late for Brian Terry and 300 Mexicans.