The Deadly Path: How Operation Fast & Furious and Bad Lawyers Armed Mexican Cartels (Paperback)

The Deadly Path: How Operation Fast & Furious and Bad Lawyers Armed Mexican Cartels By Peter J. Forcelli, Keelin MacGregor, Stephen Murphy (Foreword by) Cover Image
Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.


Pete Forcelli did what members of the U.S. Congress encourage government employees to do: he spoke up when he saw misconduct within the federal government. But choosing to be a whistleblower almost cost Forcelli his job, his possessions, and his reputation as a law enforcement official.

“In a raw and unflinching account that details his harrowing journey as whistleblower in the Fast and Furious federal scandal, Forcelli shows the public and personal cost of standing up for justice.” —Jonathan Green, author of Sex Money Murder: A Story of Crack, Blood, and Betrayal

Pete Forcelli was a highly respected federal agent in New York City, where he made an impact on violent crime by successfully targeting some of the city’s most violent street gangs by using federal racketeering and continuing criminal enterprise statutes in conjunction with federal prosecutors. In early 2007, he was promoted to a supervisory position in Phoenix and quickly discovered that federal prosecutors were not charging criminals for violating federal firearms laws, even in instances where they knew guns were being trafficked to ultra-violent drug cartels and then used in crimes that were shocking to the conscience.

When those very same prosecutors spoke about possibly indicting John Dodson, a special agent who blew the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious, Forcelli stepped forward and contacted Congress. Forcelli became a whistleblower himself, detailing how federal prosecutors in Arizona not only failed to prosecute gun traffickers, but allowed a man who was making hundreds of hand grenades for the Sinaloa Cartel to continue his operations unabated for years. At that moment, those prosecutors and officials from the Department of Justice came after him, leading to a nearly four-year battle for Forcelli to clear his name.

This book provides his insider’s account of the scandal that stands as one of the worst stains on federal law enforcement.

About the Author

Peter J. Forcelli is a recently retired Deputy Assistant Director of the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), where he served as head of training. Before becoming a Special Agent for the ATF in 2001, Forcelli was a NYPD homicide detective and survivor of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Forcelli became widely known as a whistleblower for the highly publicized Operation Fast and Furious scandal. He suffered retaliation at the hands of highly placed individuals in the Department of Justice for shining a light on their mistakes, but ultimately prevailed in seeking justice in a settlement through a lawsuit he filed with the United States Office of Special Counsel.

Forcelli is a respected investigator noted for developing complex criminal investigations targeting armed gangs and criminal organizations. He has made over one thousand arrests and has served over three hundred search warrants. He is well regarded by those who have worked with him for his unwavering commitment to what he calls “investigative excellence.” His work in the investigation into the Neese Bello Organization led to members of the group pleading guilty to over 145 home-invasion-style robberies. Still, Forcelli is best known for his efforts to fight for justice in instances where he has uncovered injustice. He has been involved in the exoneration of eight people who were wrongfully arrested and convicted in the Bronx, New York, for murders they did not commit.

Forcelli is also a cancer survivor—he developed lung cancer from the rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero. He is a recurring guest speaker at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City.

Keelin MacGregor is the recently published coauthor of Amazon #1 New Release JANE DOE #9, a tell-all memoir covering the life of abuse victim Lizzette Martinez, who was featured in the show Surviving R. Kelly. A collaborative writer and editor, she grew up in the publishing industry reading manuscripts for agents at an early age. Kate spent many years creating proposals and reviewing manuscripts for literary agents and authors, editing for Lorincz Literary Services, working as a freelance editor, and writing posts and content for social media companies. Based in Seattle, she reads everything she can squeeze in throughout the day.

Praise For…

"A Bulldozer moves relentlessly forward, its blade scraping off imperfections, its tract belt crushing what remains behind into the dirt. Government sometimes works the same way, viewing the truth as nothing more than an obstacle to plow aside or bury. When Pete Forcelli - a patriot, talented investigator, and respected supervisor - blew the whistle on misconduct, he found himself in the dozer’s path. He dusted himself off, fought back, reviving his life and career to tell us his story." 
— Jay Dobyns, ATF Agent (ret.), New York Times bestselling author of “No Angel, My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels”

“Peter Forcelli is a courageous and experienced American Patriot who worked his way from s street cop in New York City to a Senior Executive in the ATF in Washington. His story highlights one of the critical, systemic issues law enforcement faces as they are trying to protect the public. Federal prosecutors are vital partners and must be committed in working side by side with law enforcement professionals. It's evident the prosecution system failed the taxpayers as criminal networks sent mass amounts of firearms and grenade parts to the deadly Mexican Cartels and operated with impunity."
— Derek Maltz, Special Agent in Charge (ret.), DEA Special Operations Division

"Pete Forcelli served on the frontline trying to stop gun trafficking, with the cartels on one side and a clumsy government bureaucracy on the other. If you want to understand why the iron river of firearms flows so fiercely and the challenges of federal operations you need to hear his story."
— Ioan Grillo, Author of “Blood Gun Money” and “El Narco”

“A sobering look inside the U.S. effort to stop gun smuggling to Mexico. Reads like a novel, but rips naked a dysfunctional bureaucracy…”
— William LaJeunesse, Fox News National Correspondent

“In a storied career that spans hard-charging cases against some of the most ruthless drug dealers in the Bronx before ascending ATF’s top ranks, Peter Forcelli’s memoir is a rare insight into the life of a federal agent who staked integrity above all else. In a raw and unflinching account that details his harrowing journey as whistle-blower in the Fast and Furious federal scandal, Forcelli shows the public and personal cost of standing up for justice.”
— Jonathan Green author of “Sex Money Murder: A Story of Crack, Blood and Betrayal”

“Pete Forcelli has a long-standing reputation as being a straight-shooter in law enforcement circles. In this page turning account, he captures the challenges that special agents face every day: Criminals, the bureaucracy and attorneys who are duty bound to prosecute cases, but who at times have other agendas. Readers will get an unfiltered view of what it is really like to investigate violent crime cases in the U.S.”
— Ken Croke, ATF Special Agent (Retired) and Author of “Riding with Evil”

“Grips you like a gritty crime novel until you remember it’s an accounting of one of America’s most troubling and deadly law enforcement failures. Pete courageously stepped forward risking his career to end Fast & Furious. The media blamed gun dealers but Pete shows they helped ATF to stop gun trafficking. Their cooperation was betrayed by those responsible for Fast & Furious.”
— Lawrence Keane NSSF Chief Spokesman for the Firearms Industry, National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF)

“…an eye-opening behind-the-scenes look at government malfeasance.”
— Publishers Weekly

"A compelling account of a risky border operation and a half-forgotten scandal."
— Kirkus Reviews

Product Details
ISBN: 9798888452646
Publisher: Knox Press
Publication Date: March 5th, 2024
Pages: 288
Language: English