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Tag: ATF

ATF Agent Awarded for His Time Spent Mentoring for Big Brothers

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As if being an ATF agent wasn’t busy enough, Larry Wozniak has spent countless hours mentoring a boy who is now 17 years old.

CBS LA reports that Wozniak was named Orange County’s Big Brother of the year for his time dedicated to mentoring children.

“Sometimes you see kids that stray for different reasons and I just want to try and have a positive influence and impact on at least one kid’s life,” Wozniak.

The little brother, Geoffrey, said he’s a better person because of Wozniak.

“He really taught me to not think just about myself but about the community,” Geoffrey said.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Journal Sentinel Editorial: ATF’s Stings Were an Embarrassing ‘Joke’ by Federal Government

By Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 
Editorial 

The deputy director of the ATF told a congressional subcommittee last week that the agency is out of the business of undercover storefront stings for now after embarrassing revelations in this newspaper that illustrated how badly botched some of these operations were.

Thomas E. Brandon told the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security that there were no operations underway and that the ATF had beefed up oversight.

That’s good, because the agency’s stings were a joke.

A series of Journal Sentinel articles found that the agency used mentally disabled people to promote operations and then arrested them on drug and gun charges; opened storefronts near churches and schools and attracted kids with free video games and alcohol. Agents paid too much for guns, leading folks to buy guns elsewhere and sell them back to the government at drastically inflated prices, and agents let armed felons leave the phony storefronts and bought stolen goods, which made crime worse in nearby neighborhoods.

U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, chairman of the subcommittee, called the Milwaukee sting an “abysmal failure.”

To read more click here.

 

 

ATF official Tom Brandon: No New Stings Underway After Botched Operations

Tom Brandon/atf photo

By John Diedrich and Raquel Rutledge
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

WASHINGTON — After running nearly 40 undercover storefront stings in the last five years, the ATF’s deputy director says no such operations are now underway and that improvements in oversight have been made in the wake of botched operations nationwide.

Deputy Director Thomas E. Brandon testified Thursday before the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations, and acknowledged significant deficiencies in undercover storefront stings saying there was no justification for having the wrong people charged, as happened in Milwaukee, or the lack of outside cover teams to ensure armed felons didn’t leave.

He called locating an undercover gun-buying operation in Portland, Ore., across the street from a middle school “a mistake” and said it “wasn’t great judgment” for agents there to pay two teens to get tattoos depicting the fake storefront’s logo of a giant squid smoking a joint.

He said the young men requested the tattoos — testimony that conflicts with the account of events described in court by the prosecuting attorney.

To read more click here.

Read Tom Brandon’s statement

 

ATF Agents Lost Track of Dozens of Their Own Guns, Reports Show

By John Diedrich and Raquel Rutledge
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
 
ATF agents have lost track of dozens of government-issued guns, after stashing them under the front seats in their cars, in glove compartments or simply leaving them on top of their vehicles and driving away, according to internal reports from the past five years obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Agents left their guns behind in bathroom stalls, at a hospital, outside a movie theater and on a plane, according to the records, obtained Tuesday by the news organization under the federal Freedom of Information Act.

In December 2009, two 6-year-old boys spotted an agent’s loaded ATF Smith & Wesson .357 on a storm sewer grate in Bettendorf, Iowa. The agent lived nearby and later said he couldn’t find his gun for days but didn’t bother reporting it — until it hit the local newspaper.

To read more click here. 

ATF Comes Under Investigation for Handling of Undercover Storefront Stings in 4 Cities

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The ATF is under fire for botched storefront stings and other undercover operations across the country.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Inspector General Michael Horowitz opened an investigation into storefront stings in Milwaukee, Pensacola, St. Louis and Wichita, Kan.

The agency is already under investigation for its handling of a controversial drug-running probe, Operation Fast and Furious

Horowitz said the investigation will “examine possible systemic deficiencies in ATF’s storefront operations policies, and evaluate the effectiveness of the Monitored Case Program as an oversight tool in these operations.”

One of the problems with Operation Fast and Furious, he said, was the lack of oversight.

Retired ATF Agent Sues Feds for $10M Over Handling of Him Infiltrating Hell’s Angels

Jay Dobyns/his website

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A retired ATF agent who infiltrated the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang is suing the federal agency for $10 million for failing to protect him, News 4 Tucson reports.

Jay Dobyns, an ATF agent for 27 years, was investigating Hell’s Angels between 2001 and 2003 as an undercover agent.

As a result, Dobyns has been subjected to threats from the motorcycle gang.

In the suit, Dobyns alleges the agency never investigated a suspicious fire that destroyed his Tucson home, which precipitated the lawsuit.

After closing arguments were made earlier this week, observers expect a judgment soon.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


Jay Dobyn’s Embarrassing Case for ATF Comes to an End

Mexican Man Gets 30 Years in Murder of Border Agent Brian Terry

Brian Terry

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Some justice was delivered in a sorry chapter in law enforcement involving the murder of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry on Dec. 14, 2010.

Manuel Osorio-Arellanes of Mexico was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Tucson to 30 years in prison for the killing of Terry, whose death was linked to ATF’s botched and embarrassing gun-smuggling investigation known as Operation Fast and Furious, according to KGUN8 TV in Arizona. Two guns from the operation were found at the scene of the killing.

The  station reported that  Manuel Osorio-Arellanes — who pleaded guilty in the killing — along with four other Mexican men crossed into the  U.S. to rob marijuana smugglers  and got into a gun fight with Terry and three other agents.

The Associated Press reported that Osorio-Arellanes was wounded in the shootout at the scene and arrested. The wire service reported that the remaining crew escaped to Mexico. Two of the four are in custody in Mexico and two others are still on the run.