Fast and Furious was one of several cases in which the ATF allowed guns to walk into Mexico with the idea that they would follow the flow of guns and be able to capture the big fish. The Hernandez case, which took place in mid-2007, is another case in which guns were allowed to be purchased in United States and then agents followed those guns into Mexico. Then we lost the trail.
From Minority House Report:
On September 26 and 27, 2007, Phoenix ATF agents conducted nonstop surveillance on Hernandez and another associate, Carlos Morales. ATF had information that these subjects were in possession of approximately 19 firearms (including assault rifles and pistols) and were planning a firearm smuggling trip into Mexico. The surveillance operation was coordinated with Tucson I Field Office and the ATF Mexico Country Attaché. The plan, agreed to by all parties and authorized by the Phoenix SAC, was to follow these subjects to the border crossing in Nogales, Arizona while being in constant communication with an ATF MCO [Mexico Country Office] agent who would be in constant contact with a Mexican law enforcement counterpart at the port of entry and authorized to make a stop of the suspects’ vehicle as it entered into Mexico.
On September 27, 2007, at approximately 10:00 pm, while the Phoenix agents, an MCO agent and Mexican counterparts were simultaneously on the phone, the suspects’ vehicle crossed into Mexico. ATF agents observed the vehicle commit to the border and reach the Mexican side until it could no longer be seen. The ATF MCO did not get a response from the Mexican authorities until 20 minutes later when they informed the MCO that they did not see the vehicle cross.
The report goes on to say – The Committee has not received any documents indicating that ATF-Phoenix
agents were able to successfully coordinate with Mexican law enforcement to interdict firearms in the Hernandez case. During the course of the investigation, Hernandez and his co-conspirators purchased more than 200 firearms. They were later arrested and tried.