Fast and Furious gun buyer sentenced to prison
PHOENIX (AP) -- A man who purchased two rifles found at the scene of the fatal shooting of a federal agent north of the U.S.-Mexico border has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison.
Jaime Avila Jr. on Wednesday received a sentence of 57 months, a penalty on the lower end of federal guidelines, for his acknowledged role in a gun smuggling ring targeted in a botched federal investigation known as Operation Fast and Furious.
Avila's attorney had pleaded for leniency, saying her client was deeply remorseful and had substance abuse problems.
Federal prosecutors had asked for a stiff penalty, saying Avila not only bought guns for drug cartels but also recruited others to do so.
Operation Fast and Furious has drawn heavy criticism as agents lost track of hundreds of weapons, including two used in a shootout that killed Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in Arizona.