In investigation into how the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) became accused of intentionally allowing American firearms to get into the hands of Mexican drug cartels:
Voth grew deeply frustrated. In August 2010, after the ATF in Texas confiscated 80 guns—63 of them purchased in Arizona by the Fast and Furious suspects— Voth got an e-mail from a colleague there: ‘Are you all planning to stop some of these guys any time soon? That’s a lot of guns…Are you just letting these guns walk?’
Voth responded with barely suppressed rage: ‘Have I offended you in some way? Because I am very offended by your e-mail. Define walk? Without Probable Cause and concurrence from the USAO [U.S. Attorney’s Office] it is highway robbery if we take someone’s property.’ He then recounted the situation with the unemployed suspect who had bought the sniper rifle. ‘We conducted a field interview and after calling the AUSA [assistant U.S. Attorney] he said we did not have sufficient PC [probable cause] to take the firearm so our suspect drove home with said firearm in his car…any ideas on how we could not let that firearm “walk”’?
“The Truth About the Fast and the Furious Scandal.” — Katherine Eban, Fortune