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Tag: ATF

Georgia Man Accused of Shooting ATF Agent Is Indicted by Grand Jury

Steven Maurice "Stevo" McKinley

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An Athens. Ga.  man accused of shooting an ATF agent last month was indicted Tuesday by a grand jury, Online Athens reports.

The suspect, 21-year-old Steven Maurice “Stevo” McKinley, is suspected of shooting the agent during a Sept. 30 undercover operation at the Airport Mini Mart.

While planning to purchase narcotics and firearms, McKinley was attacked by a second suspect, whom the agent shot and killed.

McKinley is charged with taking the agent’s gun and shooting him in the shoulder.

The agent survived, and McKinley is charged with one cough of attempting to kill a federal officer and discharge and use of a firearm during a federal crime of violence.

Other Stories of Interest

Wooden Replica of Branch Davidian Compound in Waco Keeps ATF Memories Alive

photo from Wikipedia.org

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It was one of the darkest days in ATF’s history – Feb. 28, 1993.

Four agents were killed that morning, instigating what would be a 51-day standoff that ended with a raging fire and the deaths of about 80 Davidians members.

To remember that fateful day, an architectural firm donated a wooden replica of the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco, which is on display at the ATF Houston Division headquarters, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Above the replica are photos of the four agents killed that morning.

While the replica may be a painful reminder, it also serves as a way to preserve history and continue the dialogue over what happened.

ATF Badge, Gun Emerge from Drought-Dry Dam in California After 22 Years

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A fisherman’s catch in a drought-dry dam at Castaic Lake in California was quite the surprise.

Instead of pulling out a fish, the Castaic man reeled in a bag containing a gun and badge issued to an ATF agent, CBSLA.com reports.

The water line has receded 151 feet, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.

(Correction: An earlier version of the story mistakenly said the badge was lost by an FBI agent. It was an ATF agent)

Turns out, the backpack was lost by an unidentified ATF agent who was enjoying a day at the lake in 1992 when the bag fell into the water.

“As I opened it up a gun fell out,” the fisherman said. “I opened the wallet and there was a badge. I knew that I better go find the sheriff’s and give it to them.”

Other Stories of Interest

ATF Agent Wounded, Suspect Dead in Shootout in Athens, Ga.

By Rhonda Cook
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A federal agent was in critical but stable condition Tuesday night and a suspect was dead after a shooting during an undercover law enforcement operation in Athens. A second suspect has been charged in the case.

State and federal officials told reporters an Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent was in the intensive care unit at an area hospital recovering from his wounds.

They identified the dead man as 20-year-old Javonta Darden. The other suspect, 21-year-old Steven McKinley, was arrested.

To read full story click here.

ATF Criticized for Plan to Require Gun Owners to Identify Their Ethnicity on Records

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If the ATF gets its way, new gun owners will have to identify their ethnicity on firearm records.

But lawmakers in the House have introduced a bill to eliminate that controversial requirement, The Hill reports.

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., demanded answers.

“The right of law-abiding citizens to own firearms is an individual right guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” Blunt wrote in a letter to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) over the weekend. “The constitutional right of a citizen to own a firearm has nothing to do with race or ethnicity.”

He added: “It is disconcerting that the U.S. government is gathering this type of data on citizens when there is no connection between purchasing a firearm and an individual’s race or ethnicity. Any measure that may interfere with a citizen’s ability to exercise his or her constitutional right to purchase a firearm needs to be questioned.”

 

Judge Rules In Favor of Ex-ATF Agent Jay Dobyns and Slaps ATF

Jay Dobyns

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A federal judge gave what former ATF agent Jay Dobyns seemed to want most: Vindication.

The Arizona Republic writes that U.S. Federal Claims Judge Francis M. Allegra of D.C. ruled in a lawsuit filed by Dobyns that ATF failed to properly respond to death threats against him after he infiltrated the Hells Angels motorcycle gang, then reneged on previous agreements to address his complaints. In 2008, his house was set afire. 

The ruling, unsealed Tuesday, awarded Dobyns of Tucson $173,000 for emotional stress caused by ATF, the paper reported. 

The paper also reported that the judge denied the government’s counterclaims for royalties from Dobyns’ book, No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels, and the films rights to the book, which are held by 20th Century Fox.

The $173,000 award fell far short of what he had sought. But he said he was pleased, nonetheless, with the ruling.

Dobyns wrote on his blog:

“I will not seize upon this opportunity to gloat or celebrate. From my view there is nothing to rejoice in. This is a sad day for my beloved ATF, the Department of Justice and all who believe in and support America’s law enforcement officers.”

“The title of the lawsuit alone — Dobyns v. USA — is humiliating for me. I never stood against the USA; only the corruption and abuse that infect parts of ATF and DOJ in leadership. I blew the whistle on that corruption. For that I was severely punished and left undefended.”

Dobyns also wrote in his blog:

Today, Judge Allegra describes ATF as an agency with, “organizational weaknesses, the inability of agency officials to supervise and control, and of demonstrated misfeasance – all rooted in the sorry failure of some ATF officials”. Further he wrote, “the story of how Agent Dobyns was treated is neither entertaining nor an easy read.”

Judge Allegra wrote in his opinion that Marino Vidoli, Steve Pugmire and Bill Newell, “ignored information about threats to Agent Dobyns and his family”, that, “the removal of the fictitious identification put Agent Dobyns and his family at risk”, that there was “no valid reason” for ATF’s failure to support us. The court wrote that the conduct of Vidoli was “unprecedented as the only instance in which Vidoli ever withdrew backstopping issued to an ATF employee.”

In 2007, Dobyns won a $373,000 award against ATF after it was concluded  that the agencies failed to take proper action to keep him safe.

ATF issued a statement that was posted on The Phoenix New Times:

“We have received and are reviewing with the Department of Justice the Court’s decision in Dobyns v. United States. We cannot, however, further comment on this case because portions of the litigation are still pending, including matters that may be appealed by the parties.”

Tensions Simmer Between FBI, Other Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Over Handling of Crimes

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has been quietly waging a turf battle with other federal law enforcement agencies for taking over violent crimes, the Wall Street Journal reports.

According to an internal memo, FBI managers are growing more frustrated with the ATF and Homeland Security for taking over cases that the bureau believes it should handle.

“The jurisdiction encroachment by the ATF continues as a disturbing concern,” the memo distributed last month said, adding that “mission creep by HSI is an issue in an alarming number of field offices.”

Thirty of the FBI’s 56 field offices reported problems with the ATF while handling cases such as human trafficking, drugs and gangs.

FBI Director James Comey doesn’t have the same frustrations, a bureau spokesman said.

“Because some FBI authorities overlap with those of other federal agencies, challenges and conflicts inevitably arise,” Michael Kortan said. “But we have always tried to resolve those conflicts in a professional and collaborative manner, throughout the field and at headquarters, and that will continue.”

Christopher Shaefer, Who Led Atlanta’s ATF Office, Is Appointed Assistant Deputy Director of Agency

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Christopher Shaefer, who served as special agent in charge of the ATF’s Atlanta office, has been promoted to the position of deputy assistant director of the federal agency, the Manteca Bulletin reports.

Shaefer began his law enforcement career as an officer for the Manteca Police Department in California in 1982 before joining the ATF as a special agent a decade later. He was first assigned to the Sacramento Field Office before being promoted to supervisory special agent in the San Francisco Field Office.

Then Shaefer was transferred to the Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations Inspection Division at ATF headquarters in Washington, the Bulletin wrote.

Shaefer held two more positions since then, one in the Los Angeles Field Division and one as special agent of the Atlanta Field Division for ATF.

Shaefer is married with three adult sons.