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September 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: ATF

ATF Uses Brain-Damaged Man with Low IQ to Run Drugs, Guns as Part of Federal Probe

Steve Neavling 

The ATF used a brain-damaged man with a low IQ to help to handle drug and gun deals as part of an investigation into a Milwaukee storefront, the AP reports.

The man, Chauncey Wright, was paid in cigarettes, merchandise and money, but was charged with federal drug and gun counts once the operation was done, according to the AP.

Advocates for people with disabilities said the man should be freed.

The ATF has launched an investigation.


Man Indicted in Slaying of Retired ATF Agent in Virginia

Gregory Holley

By Jeremy Borden
Washington Post

A 25-year-old Woodbridge man accused of killing a former federal law enforcement officer during what police said was a robbery gone wrong has been indicted on a capital murder charge.

If convicted, Aric A. Smith could face the death penalty in the killing of Gregory Holley, 55. Holley, retired as an Army officer and as a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent, was shot and killed walking his dog in his quiet Woodbridge neighborhood on Feb. 20.

Holley, a husband and father of four, was known both for his contagious laughter and for his serious side — someone who kept a Bible at his desk. After his final retirement in 2009, he settled into a job handling the finances at his Prince William County church.

To read more click here.

Report: ICE Agents Could Have Blown the Whistle on Bungled Fast & Furious Investigation

Steve Neavling

ICE agents along the Arizona border became aware that ATF was allowing illegal guns to cross the border as part of the bungled Fast & Furious investigation, the Washington Guardian reports.

But ICE agents, who were concerned and talked to local ATF officials about the unusual probe, never took the complaints to Washington, missing an opportunity to blow the whistle on the scandal, the Guardian wrote.

The findings were revealed in a new Homeland Security inspector general report.

“Most Homeland Security Investigations personnel in Arizona who received information about the investigation recognized that the task force was using a flawed methodology, which was contrary to ICE policy and practices for weapons smuggling investigations,” the inspector general concluded in a little-noticed report issued late last month.


2 Detroit Cops on ATF Task Force Shot and Wounded by Parolee

Suspect Matthew Joseph was fatally shot

By Allan Lengel and Bill McGraw
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — The man suspected of shooting and wounding two Detroit police officers on Tuesday evening following a car chase on the city’s west side, had been on parole since last October after serving time for armed robbery, according to a law enforcement official and public records.

Matthew Renard Joseph, 23, of Detroit, was under surveillance Tuesday for a March 28, narcotics-related homicide, a source said. In the end, he was fatally shot by law enforcement.

The surveillance, which began shortly before 6 p.m. in the 3700 block of 25th Street, turned into a car chase. After police boxed Joseph’s car in at Linwood and Hooker, they got out of the car, law enforcement sources said.

Joseph then opened fire, striking one officer in the head and the other twice in the leg. Law enforcement shot back, killing him, authorities said. Two people in the suspect’s car, a man and a woman, were taken into custody, Detroit Police said.

To read full story click here.

Opinion: Why ATF Should Be Permitted to Track Gun Sales Via Computers


ATF photo

By Constantine von Hoffman

In a time when drinking water is a politically polarizing issue it is hardly surprising gun control in America is practically bringing people to blows. There is a simple solution to the problem. Unfortunately it requires looking at facts.

First there is the fact that the term “gun control” is utter nonsense.

As of 2007 civilians in the United States owned approximately 294 million firearms: 106 million handguns, 105 million rifles and 83 million shotguns, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. That is nearly one gun for every legal resident, making the United States the most heavily-armed nation in the world.

To read more click here.

ATF Admits Mistakes Were Made During Botched Raid at Milwaukee Store

image from

Steve Neavling

The head of the ATF’s St, Paul Field Division acknowledged mistakes were made during a botched undercover sting operation of gun and drug dealers at a store in Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

The Journal Sentinel recently exposed serious problems during a 10-month ATF sting. Among them: the theft of nearly $40,000 in merchandise; an agent’s machine gun was stolen; wrong suspects were charged; and sensitive information about undercover help was lost.

Scott Sweetow, special agent in charge of the ATF’s St. Paul Field Division, which oversees the Milwaukee office, said some mistakes were made but he also defended the sting.

“Absolutely there were some administrative mistakes made, some procedural mistakes made, and we are very aggressively looking at all of those issues from top to bottom,” Sweetow said, noting that more than 30 people have been arrested as a result of the sting.

New ATF Head in Minneapolis Pledges to Target “Worst of the Worst” Violent Offenders

 Steve Neavling 

The new head of the Upper Midwest office of the ATF said his priority will be getting violent offenders off the street, the Associated Press reports.

Scott Sweetow

Scott Sweetow, who was named special agent in charge of the ATF’s St. Paul Field Division in January, said his office has to be realistic about guns.

“Firearms have been around for hundreds of years. Crime being committed with firearms is going to continue no matter what,” Sweetow told the AP in an extensive interview. “No single law … is going to do away with it. … We have a job to do, and regardless of what legislation is passed, ultimately we are going to have to find a way to make things work.”

Sweetow’s division covers Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota

ATF Revitalization Plans Face Opposition

Todd Jones

By Sari Horwitz and Peter Finn
Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s plans to energize the embattled agency that regulates the firearms industry and investigates gun violence are already running into trouble on Capitol Hill, foreshadowing the difficulties facing the president as he moves to advance his gun-control agenda.

President Obama announced his choice of B. Todd Jones to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives last month as a key element in his sweeping slate of gun proposals after the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn.

Obama urged Congress to quickly confirm Jones in an effort to embolden an agency that has long operated with limited resources and a part-time director who splits his time between Minneapolis and Washington. Since then, Senate Republicans have indicated they may block Jones’s appointment and have demanded to know more about his role in several operations and policy decisions. They have also expressed lingering suspicions about the agency, noting that it has been dogged by a series of debacles, some of them self-inflicted.

To read full story click here.