A Phoenix man, Danny Cruz Morones, 24, was sentenced to 57 months in prison yesterday in San Diego for his role in the government gun running scandal known as Fast and Furious. Morones pleaded guilty to acting as a “straw purchaser” of assault rifles and to recruiting others to buy the weapons.
In the Fast and Furious scheme, straw purchasers who were part of a criminal conspiracy orchestrated by Mexican drug cartels to acquire military-grade assault rifles and other high-powered weapons from Arizona gun sellers, by the U.S. government.
Morones, Jamie Avila, Uriel Patino, Julio Carrillo, Alfredo Celis, Sean Christopher Steward, Jacob Wayne Chambers, Erick Avila Davila, Jonathan Earvin Fernandez, Dejan Hercegovac, Jacob Anthony Montelongo, Joshua David Moore, Jose Angel Polanco, Francisco Javier Ponce, Manual Fabian-Acosta, and Ireland purchased or otherwise participated in the purchases of guns from various gun dealers on behalf of the cartels in later 2009 and 2010.
U.S. government agents lost track of about 1,400 weapons sold to straw buyers in Operation Fast and Furious, according to news reports.
Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered in the desert near Rio Rico, Ariz., on Dec. 14, 2010, with guns purchased in the government’s failed gun running scheme.