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Cartel Shootout With Mexican Police Linked To US Grenade Walking Scandal

Mexican federal police agents, like these photographed in Culiacán, Sinaloa, were involved in a shootout with suspected cartel gunmen last week in Guadalajara, Jalisco. (Lorne Matalon)

Our  Fronteras Desk reporter at Marfa Public Radio, Lorne Matalon reports.

CBS News is reporting alink between a drug cartel shootout with Mexican police last week and a controversial case in the United States.

A Justice Department report obtained by CBS News says the link is a grenade apparently traced to an American who has been under surveillance for some time.

Fronteras Desk Senior Field Correspondent Michel Marizco has followed the flow of weapons from the U.S. into Mexico as part of his extensive coverage of Operation Fast and Furious. The Justice Department believes the import of grenade parts into Mexico from the U.S. is related.

According to a Justice Department "Significant Incident Report" filed this week and subsequently obtained by CBS News, evidence connects one of the grenades to Jean Baptiste Kingery.

Kingery is an alleged firearms trafficker U.S. officials allowed to operate for years without arresting despite significant evidence that he was moving grenade parts and ammunition to Mexico's cartels.

CBS News Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson said on "The Early Show" that the investigation into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' so-called "Fast and Furious" operation branches out to a case involving grenades. Sources tell her a suspect was left to traffic and manufacture them for Mexican drug cartels.

Police say Jean Baptiste Kingery, a U.S. citizen, is accused of smuggling parts for as many as 2,000 grenades into Mexico for drug cartels, sometimes under the direct watch of U.S. law enforcement.