ATF Resorts to Dubious Tactics to Secure Arrests

By:  Raven Clabough
12/10/2013
       
ATF Resorts to Dubious Tactics to Secure Arrests

An exposé by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (still known as ATF) engaged in rogue tactics to go after guns on the street, including exploiting the mentally ill, purchasing weapons at extremely high costs, and allowing minors to smoke marijuana and drink.

The exposé follows one that the Journal Sentinel ran earlier this year that focused on the Milwaukee arm of the ATF. According to that article, the undercover ATF agents opened a storefront sting operation that was said to have focused on breaking up criminal operations in Milwaukee by purchasing illegal guns and drugs from felons. Unfortunately, the operation was a fiasco. The newspaper noted,

But the effort to date has not snared any major dealers or taken down a gang. Instead, it resulted in a string of mistakes and failures, including an ATF military-style machine gun landing on the streets of Milwaukee and the agency having $35,000 in merchandise stolen from its store, a Journal Sentinel investigation has found.

When the 10-month operation was shut down after the burglary, agents and Milwaukee police officers who participated in the sting cleared out the store but left behind a sensitive document that listed names, vehicles and phone numbers of undercover agents.

And the agency remains locked in a battle with the building's owner, who says he is owed about $15,000 because of utility bills, holes in the walls, broken doors and damage from an overflowing toilet.

Officials claimed that the blunders committed by the Milwaukee ATF were limited to that specific office, but the most recent exposé reveals that there is a clear “pattern of questionable decisions that were employed by six ATF operations, including Milwaukee, nationwide,” Fox News writes.

Saturday’s report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says that a review of thousands of pages of court records, police records, and other important documents reveals that the ATF often resorts to rogue tactics such as those seen in the Milwaukee sting.

Fox News reports,

Click here to read the entire article.

Photo: AP Images

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