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Tag: ATF

Tim Steller: Unsealed Jay Dobyns Files Look Bad for DOJ

Jay Dobyns

By Tim Steller
Arizona Daily Star

Retired ATF agent Jay Dobyns’ lawsuit against the federal government alleged they broke a settlement deal with him and mistreated him, in part by calling him a suspect in the 2008 arson of his own Tucson home.

Newly unsealed documents in his case suggest that the government misbehaved during the trial in 2013, leading to DOJ attorneys being barred from filing further documents in the case. More eerily, the misbehavior may have extended to surveillance of Dobyns’ Phoenix attorney even up into this month.

For people like me, who have sympathized with Dobyns but tried to reserve judgment about his case, the documents push us further into the retired agent’s camp. You can’t read the few filings that have been unsealed in the case without wondering why the Justice Department is going to such extremes and spending so much on what is, at base, a relatively minor contractual dispute that could have ended years ago.

To read more click here.

ATF Searches for Clues to What Sparked Mansion Blaze That Killed 6

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The ATF is looking for clues to determine what caused a mammoth fire that gutted an Annapolis mansion and is believed to have killed six people, including four children, on Monday.

The Washington Post reports that two more bodies were found in the wreckage Thursday.

The mother, Stacey Boone, posted on Facebook on Thursday: “I never knew that I could hurt this badly. It’s unreal. All one big nightmare that I can’t wake up from.”

As another day passed since the fire, investigators still had no idea what caused the fire, said Anne Arundel Fire Capt. Russell Davies Jr.

“Until we make a determination one way or another, it’s going to stay a criminal investigation,” Davies said.

Also on Thursday, the ATF began to deploy dogs to smell for explosives.

Other Stories of Interest


ATF, FBI Team Up to Track Down Person Who Detonated Bomb Outside NAACP Office

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

To solve the question about who detonated a small bomb outside the NAACP chapter in Colorado Springs on Tuesday, the federal government sent in two big guns – the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force and the ATF, the Denver Post reports.

Federal and local investigators still have a lot of questions to answer, including whether the mosque was the target, after the first day of the probe didn’t appear to hone in on a suspect.

“We are investigating all potential motives at this time,” said Special Agent Amy Sanders, an FBI spokeswoman. “An act of domestic terrorism is certainly one possibility, in addition to many others.”

Damage from the blast was minimal, contained primarily to a small section of the exterior.

Investigators found a can of gasoline next to the explosive device.

Authorities said they don’t know with certainty that the neighboring barber shop was the target, though the owner said he has no enemies.

“Everybody loves me,” the owner, Gene Southerland, told an inquiring client over the phone on Wednesday morning. “I don’t have any enemies.”

ATF Gets Tips, Surveillance Videos in Rash of Arson Fires in Ferguson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The ATF may be closer to solving some of the fires that were set in Ferguson on the night of the grand jury decision, CBS St. Louis reports.

With a reward of $10,000 being offered for information leading to the arrest of an arsonist, the ATF has been fielding tips and has received surveillance videos.

“And all of that is very beneficial,” says John Ham, spokesman with ATF.

“Even if it’s just word of mouth, that somebody has started one of these fires, or was associated with one of these fires in any way, that’s information that we would be interested in having,” he says.

The ATF is investigating the more than 20 fires set that night.

Stories of Other Interest


 

 

Case Stemming from ATF Stash House Sting Shouldn’t Be Dismissed, Appellate Court Rules

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Federal agents did not commit “outrageous” misconduct by luring suspects into a robbery of a fictitious drug house, a federal appellate panel ruled Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The decision reverses a district court judge’s earlier ruling that the suspects’ due process rights were violated when the ATF enticed them into committing a robbery.

The reversal by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals means the suspects, Antuan Dunlap and Joseph Whitfield, still face charges.

The three-judge panel questioned the practice but said the actions didn’t raise to “extremely high standard” for dismissing cases.

“The ATF targeted individuals who had already demonstrated an interest in committing robberies, and did little more than ‘set the bait’ by inventing a fictitious cocaine stash house they could rob,” the judges wrote.

Other Stories of Interest


ATF Investigates Intentionally Set Church Fire in Ferguson Where Brown’s Dad Attended

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The ATF is investigating an intentionally set fire at a church where Michael Brown’s father regularly attended in Ferguson, Mo., the St Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

The Flood Christian Church was among dozens of buildings that were torched following the grand jury’s decision not to indict the white police officer who shot and killed a black teenager, Brown.

It’s unclear who started the fire, but the senior pastor, Carlton Lee, said he’d received more than 80 death threats because of his connection with Brown and the protests. He said his dog was poisoned and someone threatened to burn down his church.

The ATF said it’s investigating more than a dozen fires related to Ferguson.

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It Ain’t Over Yet: ATF Appeals Judge’s Ruling Favoring Ex-Agent Jay Dobyns

Jay Dobyns/his website

By Paul Giblin
The Arizona Republic

The ATF is headed back to court in a long-running legal battle with a former undercover agent who infiltrated the Hells Angels motorcycle gang.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives filed a notice of appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., on Friday, to overturn a judgment against the ATF earlier this year. The single-sentence notice of appeal does not explain the basis of the appeal.

An ATF spokeswoman said shed was unfamiliar with the details of the matter and unable to comment further. An attorney for the Department of Justice did not immediately return messages left late Friday afternoon.

Retired agent Jay Dobyns of Tucson sued the ATF for reneging on previous agreements to respond to death threats against him following the Hells Angels case.

To read more click here.

 

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