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Man charged in botched Fast and Furious Operation to change plea

Man charged in botched Fast and Furious Operation to change plea

CREATED Apr 5, 2012

Web Producer: Sara Wright

PHOENIX (AP/KGUN9-TV) - The man accused of illegally buying two guns found at the scene of the deadly shooting of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, is expected to change his plea in federal court today.

Jaime Avila Junior will now plead guilty to charges of dealing guns without a license as part of the federal government's botched gun smuggling investigation known as Operation Fast and Furious. Federal investigators say Avila illegally bought numerous AK-47-type guns from a Phoenix gun store.

Avila, believed to be a member of a Sinaloa drug cartel, is then accused of smuggling the guns into Mexico.

Investigators say two AK-47-type guns purchased by Avila were later found at the scene of the shootout - near Rio Rico - where Agent Terry was shot and killed in December 2010.

Federal authorities have faced harsh criticism since Terry's shooting for letting suspected illegal gun buyers walk away from gun shops with weapons, rather than arrest them and seize the guns.