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Tag: ATF

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.

Retired-ATF Agent Jay Dobyns Open Letter to Congress

Jay Dobyns

To the Honorable Members of the Senate and House of Representatives:

My name is Jay Dobyns. In January of this year, I retired from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms after twenty-seven years of decorated service.

Today is the six-year anniversary of the arson of my home. My wife and two children were inside when the fire was set. They were lucky to escape and survive, although my home and all of our belongings were destroyed by that criminal act.

Leading up to that conclusive and somewhat predictable event, my family and I had already endured years and dozens of credible and validated death and violence threats issued from violent crime suspects and based on my work as an ATF Agent. Each time those events were summarily dismissed by ATF’s leadership as unworthy of attention.

After investigating the August 10, 2008, arson, two of the nation’s leading arson investigators determined that I was not involved. ATF’s leadership, both nationally and locally, ignored the determinations of their own experts and maliciously pursued me as the sole suspect, implicitly categorizing me as an ATF agent willing to murder his own family by fire. The managers and executives involved were known to be corrupt, despised by ATF agents, and among those who planned and implemented ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious.

Those mangers ignored real-time investigative leads and true suspects while instead illegally recording my telephone calls and attempting to gather intelligence on me. None was to be found because I was not involved and innocent. One of ATF’s investigators, an Agent trusted to investigate the Olympic Park bombing, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Columbine High School massacre, the 9/11 terrorist attack and countless other crime scenes told ATF – “I’ve investigated Jay, he’s clean, let me go find the people who did this.”

ATF’s manager George Gillett (of Fast and Furious infamy) immediately removed that agent and his partner from the case. Their investigation did not fit his agenda.

ATF intentionally scuttled their investigation before contaminating a hand-off to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Under the guidance of the Department of Justice, the most flagrant destruction of one federal agent’s career and reputation ever publicly known took place. Now six years later the trail has gone cold and the real arsonist(s) remain at large having attempted to murder a federal agent and his family without pursuit.

When that conduct was challenged in court, both agencies used every tactic available to them, some illegal, some merely unethical and despicable, to cover-up their conduct. Attorneys for the government were fired for their actions in this case; their bad acts never acknowledged or remedied. The unethical tactics used by the government included the destruction and withholding of critical evidence and providing false sworn testimony at depositions and at trial.

The highest levels of leadership at each of these agencies are fully aware of the truth, yet they continue efforts to ensure it is never exposed. That is the system now firmly entrenched at the United States Department of Justice and at ATF – do anything necessary to do to keep your job, displace blame onto others, and if you must, hide and misrepresent the facts and truth from public and courtroom examination.

I respect the separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches defined by our Constitution. As I await the findings of the court with patience and hope, I honor those laws. The truth is going to come out, whether ATF, DOJ, and their leaders Eric Holder and B. Todd Jones, care for it or not.

My biggest disappointment is that facts and evidence revealed during my lawsuit have been publicly available and brought to your attention for a considerable amount of time. Our nation’s elected officials, appointed Justice Department and ATF leaders, mid-level managers, federal prosecutors, and every internal ethics mechanism within those agencies, just doesn’t care.

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Jury: ATF Entrapped Low IQ Defendant by Encouraging Him to Break Law

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A man with a second-grade reading level and a low IQ was acquitted in an ATF sting operation because he was entrapped, a jury decided.

The jury acquitted Alexis Davis on two counts agreeing that the ATF entrapped the man by “pressing” him to break the law.

Had the ATF not encouraged Davis to break the law, he likely wouldn’t have, his attorney argued.

“He never would have possessed the guns if they hadn’t come up with that store,” attorney Sharon Samek said.

To the jury, it was a clear case of entrapment.

“To me, this was not about fighting crime,” said juror Michael Lehman of St. Petersburg Beach. “There is a lot of crime going on in the world, you don’t need to manipulate the circumstances in order to encourage people to do bad things that they might or might not otherwise do.”

ATF Handles Far Fewer Cases Because of Policy Change Under President Obama

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The number of ATF cases recommended for prosecution dropped by a third since 2004, according to data compiled by Syracuse University, the Washington Times reports.

Federal investigators and gun law experts said the decline is attributed to a policy change in the Obama administration, which has changed its focus to regulatory-type cases.

“Within the later part of the Bush years, case selections within the ATF have gone from mostly violent crime cases – which is their forte – toward the regulatory, where they look at dealers, manufacturers and trafficking cases – and they take a lot more time to develop,” said Robert Sanders, a former ATF assistant director. “The agencies philosophy has shifted to guns are the problem, and access to guns are the problem, rather than the criminal being the direct indicator of crime.”

Under Obama, the agency merged its regulatory division with law enforcement.

The result was the loss of law-enforcement and an increased focus on regulation, the Washington Times wrote.

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USA Today Investigation: ATF Drug Stings Targeted Minorities

By Brad Heath
USA Today
WASHINGTON — The nation’s top gun-enforcement agency overwhelmingly targeted racial and ethnic minorities as it expanded its use of controversial drug sting operations, a USA TODAY investigation shows.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has more than quadrupled its use of those stings during the past decade, quietly making them a central part of its attempts to combat gun crime. The operations are designed to produce long prison sentences for suspects enticed by the promise of pocketing as much as $100,000 for robbing a drug stash house that does not actually exist.

At least 91% of the people agents have locked up using those stings were racial or ethnic minorities, USA TODAY found after reviewing court files and prison records from across the United States. Nearly all were either black or Hispanic. That rate is far higher than among people arrested for big-city violent crimes, or for other federal robbery, drug and gun offenses.

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Chicago Gets Additional ATF Agents to Quell Outbreak in Gun Violence

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Chicago is getting seven more ATF agents to help quell an outbreak violence, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

The decision was made recently by Attorney General Eric Holder, who had met with the Chicago mayor.

The Windy City now has 52 ATF agents.

“They wanted to bring more resources to Chicago to combat some of the gun violence that’s taking place here,” said ATF spokesman Tom Ahern.

“Initially we’ll have four starting out here on the 21st of the month, then we have more coming down the road,” Ahern said.

The decision comes after a bloody Fourth of July weekend in which 13 people were killed and 58 wounded in Chicago.
Ahern said the help is desperately needed.

“We welcome the new agents. We can always use more manpower,” Ahern said. “The ATF’s primary focus is firearms trafficking and stemming the flow of illegal guns into Chicago.”

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Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Strongly Opposes Proposal to Eliminate ATF

 

Rep. Sensenbrenner

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) on Thursday denounced  Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner’s proposal to eliminate ATF and have it absorbed by another agency.

“Violent gangs, gun traffickers and active shooters will not take pause while Congress attempts to engage in an unwarranted bureaucratic maneuver that would waste taxpayer dollars and leave the public at risk,” said FLEOA President Jon Adler in a statement. ” Any bill that calls for dismantling  ATF would simultaneously dissolve a critical layer of enforcement and protection for the American public. We cannot afford to diminish ATF’s Frontline Strategy, nor the dedicated Special Agents.” and Inspectors who enforce it.”
 
The Milwaukee Journal reports that Sensenbrenner has a bill in the works to eliminate ATF. The Congressman cites recent operational failures and ATF’s  overlap with other federal law enforcement agencies, the paper reports.
“By absorbing the ATF into existing law enforcement entities, we can preserve the areas where the ATF adds value for substantially less taxpayer money,” Sensenbrenner said. “While searching for its mission, the ATF has been plagued by decades of high-profile blunders….We cannot afford to ignore clear changes that will greatly enhance the government’s efficiency.”

 

ATF Sees Major Upswing in Recovered, Traced Machine Guns in Pennsylvania

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The ATF recovered and traced more machine guns in Pennsylvania than in the past four years combined, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

The ATF issued the alarming report, which states that the ATF reported 132 machine gun traces in the past year in Pennsylvania. By contrast, the agency traced 110 machine guns between 2009 and 2012.

The ATF defines a machine gun as “any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.”

In Pennsylvania, adults can obtain permits to own machine guns. The state has 17,714 such permits.

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