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Gun in shootout in Mexico linked to agent in Minn. sting

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A handgun found in November near the scene of a gun battle in Mexico where five people died has been linked to a former federal gun agent who worked in Minnesota and was part of the government's controversial Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation at the U.S. border, the Star Tribune reports.

The Justice Department confirmed that the semi-automatic pistol from the area of the Nov. 23 shootout in Sinaloa was linked to George Gillett Jr., who oversaw Fast and Furious from October 2009 to April 2010, the newspaper reports. Gillett was part of a Twin Cities gun sting a decade ago that was shut down after several government-tracked guns were connected to violent gang crimes, the newspaper reported.

The matter has the attention of Congress. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, asked the Justice Department's Inspector General to probe the gun's history.

The federal Fast and Furious program allowed weapons from the U.S. to pass to suspected gun smugglers so the weapons could be traced to higher levels of Mexican drug cartels. But federal agents lost track of many of the weapons, which have been linked to a number of crimes. The Los Angeles Times has a special section on the program.

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Will this be the summer of guns?

You might think so by glancing at local headlines. Young women in Minnesota are being pressured to buy guns for criminals in exchange for cash – a trend rarely seen across the country, the Star Tribune reports. Meanwhile, St. Paul police are begging young people to put down their firearms as the rate of gun incidents soars. And the search for the killer of a 5-year-old boy in north Minneapolis continues.