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TUCSON, Ariz. - Two federal agents at the heart of a failed gunrunning investigation are trying to shift the blame for allowing illegal buyers to take the weapons to Mexico.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that lawyers for ATF supervisors Bill Newell and David Voth sent letters to two members of Congress investigating Operation Fast and Furious.

They argued that from September 2009 until June 2010 federal prosecutors told the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents running the investigation they did not have probable cause to arrest the people buying the weapons or seize the guns.

Most of the 2,000 guns suspects bought were sold during that time.

The operation was exposed when one of the guns was used to kill U.S. Border Patrol Brian Terry in December 2010.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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