It's been almost two years since the nation first learned about Operation Fast and Furious. So far, only some small players have been prosecuted while the big fish seem to still be out there.
CBS 5 News wanted to know why.
"From an investigative standpoint it was a disaster," said former United States Attorney Mel McDonald.
McDonald doesn't mince words about the botched Fast and Furious operation - a gun walking mission that allowed low-level straw buyers to grab up loads of guns in the hopes of tracking them to the major weapons traffickers and cartels.
"An arsenal of weapons that have taken lives in Mexico, are sent into Mexico with investigative agencies knowledge and those guns are used to kill," McDonald said.
U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was gunned down in December of 2010. Investigators said two guns found at the scene were bought by a member of a smuggling ring monitored in the Fast and Furious investigation.
CBS 5 News has been waiting to see which players would be brought to justice, but so far the big dogs seem to be eluding arrest.
"The members of those cartel are no secret. The kingpins, people in both governments know who they are," McDonald said.
Those kingpins haven't been caught. McDonald said if they haven't yet, he doesn't think it's going to happen.
"Well I don't pretend to have any inside information, but I think that if we were going to see it happen it would have happened by now," McDonald said. "I think the majority of the weapons are gone forever."
"The damage they're going to do is unforeseeable, but I think it's going to be tremendous and I think it's left a really negative mark on federal law enforcement, both for the U.S. and in Arizona," he said.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
READ: Sentencing reset for man in gun probe (6/7/12) READ: Key ATF agents blame prosecutors (4/15/12) READ: 2nd man ID'd in agent's killing (2/14/12) READ: Parents of slain agent sue DOJ (2/1/12) PDF: DOJ's full report (9/19/12) More>>
The valley is preparing to say its final goodbyes to a fallen Phoenix police officer. Visitation was held Friday night for Officer Daryl Raetz - with a steady stream of his family, friends and colleagues.More >
Visitation was held Friday night for Officer Daryl Raetz - with a steady stream of his family, friends and colleagues - ahead of Saturday's funeral.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 12:39 PM EDT2013-05-23 16:39:28 GMT
Dan Marco's son was murdered in 2010. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Only people who have lost a close loved one can understand the pain of Travis Alexander's family"My heart goes out to them, because I understand," says Dan Marco, who's son Zachary was murdered in 2010.ZacharyMore >
Only people who have lost a close loved one can understand the pain of Travis Alexander's family.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 4:19 PM EDT2013-05-24 20:19:28 GMT
The Young and the Restless is airing a special tribute episode to the late Jeanne Cooper on Tuesday, May 28 at 11 a.m. MST. Cast members and friends of Cooper recently gathered on set to shoot a celebrationMore >
The Young and the Restless is airing a special tribute episode to the late Jeanne Cooper on Tuesday, May 28 at 11 a.m. MST.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 11:43 AM EDT2013-05-23 15:43:24 GMT
Fallen officer's daughter graduates from kindergarten
Hundreds of Phoenix police officers showed their support for a fallen colleague by attending his daughter's kindergarten graduation in Anthem on Wednesday. Officer Daryl Raetz was killed in the lineMore >
Tatum Raetz, 5, graduated from kindergarten in Anthem Wednesday and hundreds of uniformed Phoenix police officers were there to show their support for the family.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 10:40 PM EDT2013-05-25 02:40:59 GMT
Closed iBeach Tan location in Gilbert.
Tracy Grogitsky purchased two memberships to the iBeach Tan salon in Gilbert just a few weeks ago. She said one was for a gift for her friends. Thursday, she went to the location to tan. "I thought, 'Oh,More >
Two local tanning salons closed without notice, and customers say they're not getting any refunds. More >
Friday, May 24 2013 12:29 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:29:51 GMT
Every week, CBS 5 News is sent a list of restaurants that have been recently inspected by Maricopa County's Environmental Services Department. CBS 5 News selects five restaurants with some of the highestMore >
Every week, CBS 5 News is sent a list of restaurants that have been recently inspected by Maricopa County's Environmental Services Department.More >