Mexican drug wars fought with American guns

Loopholes Let Gun Smuggling to Mexico Flourish

HOUSTON — In July 2006, John Phillip Hernandez, a 24-year-old unemployed machinist who lived with his parents, walked into a giant sporting goods store here and plunked $2,600 in cash on a glass display counter. A few minutes later, Mr. Hernandez walked out with three military-style rifles.

One of those rifles was recovered seven months later in Acapulco, Mexico, where it had been used by drug cartel gunmen to attack the offices of the Guerrero State attorney general, court documents say. Four police officers and three secretaries were killed.

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