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Justice Department official expresses regret over not telling leaders about gun-walking tactic
WASHINGTON (AP) ' In the latest development in the controversy over an Obama administration gun-smuggling investigation, the head of the Justice Department's criminal division says he regrets not alerting the department's leadership to problems in an earlier, similar Bush-era gun-smuggling probe.
Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer (BROO'-ur) says he knew in April 2010 that investigators in the Bush-era probe had allowed hundreds of guns to be transferred to suspected arms traffickers ' the same tactic that Republicans are criticizing the Obama's administration for using in Operation Fast and Furious.
When allegations about Fast and Furious surfaced early this year, the Justice Department told Congress that the department makes "every effort" to seize weapons that have been purchased illegally ' a statement undermined by the existence of the earlier Bush-era probe.