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September 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: ATF

Officers Cleared in Shooting Death of ATF Agent John Capano

John Capano/atf photo

Steve Neavling

A retired police lieutenant who shot and killed an ATF agent at a pharmacy on New Year’s Eve will not be charged because the force was justified, the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office announced, reports the Associated Press.

ATF agent John Capano, 51, was buying medicine for his cancer-stricken when he intervened in a robbery.

But when the agent’s gun went off during a scuffle with the robber, retired Nassau Police Lt. Christopher Geraghty believed his life was in danger when he accidentally fatally shot Capano in the chest, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said.

Geraghy was in a deli in Searford, about 20 miles east of New York City, with an off-duty New York City police officer when the pair responded to the robbery.

The off-duty cop, Joseph Arbia, killed the robbery suspect.

Capano, an explosives expert, was the first ATF agent killed by gunfire in the line of duty since raid on Waco, Texas, in 1993.


ATF May Help Combat Denver Street Violence if it Becomes More Serious

Steve Neavling

Disturbing trends of violence in Denver concern the feds, but it may not be enough to trigger additional resources from ATF, the Denver Post reports.

B. Todd Jones, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, who was visiting Denver, said he’s disturbed by increasing violence from gangs and young people.

“The troubling thing about Denver — and it is a phenomenon across the country — is the age of people who are involved in firearm violence for conflict resolution,” Jones said. But Jones warned that resources are scarce and will likely be focused on more violent cities, such as New Orleans and Chicago.

Judge Drops Witness-Tampering Case Against ATF Agent

Steve Neavling

An ATF agent accused of witness tampering was cleared of charges,   WRAL reports.

U.S. District Judge James Fox dismissed the witness-tampering charges Tuesday against Raleigh, N.C. ATF agent Mike Fanelly, saying prosecutors failed to provide sufficient evidence.

Fanelly will retain his job.

A grand jury had charged that he interfered with two officers who were investigating reports of cocaine distribution last June and that he made a false statement about a woman who was arrested that he happened to be having an affair with.


ATF Supervisor Resigns Amid Investigation Over Informant

Steve Neavling

An ATF supervisor in the Seattle office has stepped down after a paid informant sexually abused and imprisoned a woman while working for the agency, The Seattle Times reports.

Special Agent Jim Contreras came under fire after The Seattle Times revealed that he hired informant Joshua Allan Jackson, who had a lengthy history of violence towards women.

ATF continues to investigate, according to an unnamed source who spoke to The Seattle Times.

Contreras contends he retired and was not forced to resign.

Column: Ex-DEA Official Questions Fast and Furious and IG’s Slow Response

Robert J. Nieves is a partner in the firm BERG Associates. He retired from DEA in 1995 as the chief of international operations.

istock photo

By Robert J. Nieves
Washington Times
Anyone who has spent time in Washington knows government runs on process. There is a procedure for everything, and this is especially true in federal law enforcement, where lives are at risk every day. I should know, I spent most of my adult life as an agent with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

As chief of major investigations in the 1990s, I managed DEA’s highly sensitive undercover operations targeting the Medellin and Cali cartels. We routinely coordinated with our colleagues in the Department of Justice (DOJ) and enjoyed great success. Agent safety always was paramount in our discussions, and we were successful, in large part, because we followed procedures for the review of sensitive undercover operations.

Before commencing a sensitive operation, the field office had to prepare an operations plan detailing the activities it intended to pursue and the goals of the operation. Once the op plan was received, it was vetted in DEA headquarters to include coordination with any foreign office impacted by the proposal, the U.S. Embassy and host-nation counterparts.

To read the full column click here.


Joe Allen to Head Up Public & Governmental Affairs for ATF

By Allan Lengel

Joe Allen, a former federal prosecutor in Detroit, has been named acting Assistant Director of Public & Governmental Affairs for ATF in Washington, an agency that has had its share of public relations problems in wake of its Operation Fast and Furious.

Allen, who replaces Gregory K. Gant, will head up the division which includes media relations, legislative affairs and liaison work. Gant has moved to the Kansas City division as an assistant special agent in charge.

Allen has worked as a prosecutor in Detroit and a lawyer at the Department of Justice in Washington.

He is currently on loan to the ATF headquarters. His official assignment is general counsel for the ATF in the Detroit Division.


ATF Whistleblower Expresses Disappointment With Probe

Steve Neavling

The federal whistleblower in the scandal known as Operation Fast and Furious says in an interview with Fox News he’s “disheartened and disappointed” by the follow-up investigations.

ATF Special Agent John Dodson said he’s frustrated with the government’s response to his February 2011 complaints, which revealed that ATF was encouraging gun dealers in Arizona to sell to straw purchasers, all with the hopes of tracing the guns to the Mexican cartels. Some of those guns surfaced in crime scenes on both sides of the border.

Records show the ATF sent about 2,500 guns to a cartel as part of an investigation, and some of those weapons are believed to be responsible for the deaths of Mexicans and Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, according to Fox News.

ATF Probes Flashlight Bombs in Phoenix Area

Steve Neavling

Feds are investigating the discovery of at least three flashlight bombs — flashlights designed to explode — found recently in the Phoenix area, CBS news reports

ATF officials are puzzled by the flashlight bombs that have injured five people recently.

Unclear who is behind the small bombs, local police are erecting 22 billboards across the metro area to warn residents about the flashlights.

Feds don’t suspect terrorism because the attacks appear to be random and without messages.

CBS News says the bombs are rigged to a small battery in the flashlight so that turning it on causes a blast.