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ATF’s new director shakes up agency

WASHINGTON (AP) — The new acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has made 11 major personnel changes as he tries to move his agency beyond a controversial operation against gun-smuggling.

A month after taking over, B. Todd Jones acknowledged these are difficult times for the agency amid two investigations of Operation Fast and Furious, which focused on gun shops in the Phoenix area.

The operation tried to track gun-smuggling beyond straw purchasers to previously unreachable gunrunning kingpins, but officials say agents lost track of about 1,400 of more than 2,000 guns identified in the operation.

Meantime, the White House is brushing aside a request for a special counsel to investigate whether Attorney General Eric Holder misled Congress about his knowledge of the operation.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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