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Tag: ATF

Sorrow, Forgiveness at Funeral for ATF Agent

Memorial Fund Established for NY ATF Agent John Capano

John Capano/atf photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A memorial fund has been set up for ATF agent John Capano of New York who was killed New Year’s Eve day while attempting to stop an armed robbery of a pharmacy in Long Island where he had gone to fill a cancer medication for his ailing father.

The primary purpose of the fund is to provide monies for his son’s and daughter’s college education. His son is attending Northeastern University and his daughter is a high school student.

Individual and corporate donations can be made out to Special Agent John Capano Memorial Fund and sent to the Federal Drug Agents Foundation, 380 North Broadway, Suite 203, Jericho, NY 11753. Donations to the fund are tax deductible.

Authorities suspect that Capano was killed by friendly fire from a retired cop who had come to his rescue after he began struggling with the robber.

The funeral is scheduled for Friday at 11 a.m. at the St. William the Abbot Roman Catholic Church in Seaford, N.Y. Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr. is scheduled to speak at the funeral.

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More Shakeups at ATF Over Fast and Furious

By Danny Fenster and Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Now comes more shakeups at ATF over the controversial program Fast and Furious.

ATF confirmed Thursday that three officials have been detailed to headquarters in non-operational positions pending the outcome of an Inspector General report into the Fast and Furious program, which encouraged Arizona gun dealers to sell to middlemen, all with the hopes of tracking the weapons to the cartels. Some guns surfaced at crime scenes, causing a furor on Capitol Hill.

The latest shakeup was first reported by the website Sipsey Street Irregulars.

Those transferred to headquarters included: William Hoover, the acting head of the Washington Field office; Mark Chait, head of the Baltimore field division,  and  William McMahon, the deputy assistant director of the ATF’s Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations.

Scot Thomasson, chief spokesman for ATF issued a statement on the matter, saying:

“Taking into consideration the depth and breadth of the Fast and Furious investigation a decision to detail ATF Deputy Assistant Director William McMahon, Special Agents in Charge William Hoover and Mark Chait from operational positions with oversight responsibilities to non-operational positions was made by the Deputy Director Thomas Brandon. These new assignments will remain in effect pending the outcome of the OIG investigation.”

Interestingly, the three had already been transferred once before as a result of Fast and Furious.

Before the first transfer, Hoover was the acting Deputy Director of the ATF, the number 2 spot;  Chait was the Assistant Director in Charge of Field Operations and McMahon was Deputy Assistant Director of Field Operations.

The Fast and Furious Operation is still stirring controversy in Washington.

US Attorey General Eric Holder is expected to testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform regarding Operation Fast and Furious on Feb. 2.

Slain ATF Agent Honored at Childhood Schools

John Capano/atf photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The flags flew at half mast this week at the school district where  ATF John Capano attended.

Capano was fatally shot Dec. 31 when he tried to interfere with a robbery occurring at the Long Island pharmacy where he was picking his father’s cancer medication. Authorities suspect he was accidentally shot by a retired cop who came to his rescue.

In the Seaford School District, in Seaford, New York, Capano was honored as all U.S.  flags were placed at half-mast, the Massapequa Patch reports. At a Seaford Board of Education meeting on Thursday night, a moment of silence is also planned in honor of the former ATF agent.

Brian Conboy, Seaford Superintendent of Schools, told the Patch he remembers growing up with Capano, running into him in recent years at a local 7-11 and catching up on old times.

“He had very strong ties to the community,” Conboy said. “He comes from a very community-minded family.” The two attended school together at the former Seaford Avenue Elementary school and were in Boy Scouts and Little League together, according to Patch.

To read more click here.

Confusion Over ATF Gun Approvals for Manunfacturers

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The Washington Times reports that there’s some confusion between gun manufacturers and the ATF.

“ATF regulations for the manufacture of weapons are often unclear,” the paper reports, “leading to reliance on a secretive system” where proposed guns are submitted for approval one by one and “judgements are private and, it turns out, sometimes contradictory.”

The approval process is known as “letter rulings,” according to the Washington Times, and a major critic of the process is former assistant director of criminal investigations for the ATF Robert E. Sanders, who said that letter rulings are often “definitely contradictory and inconsistent,” though still necessary because regulations are ill-defined.

“It is hard to tell what ATF wants you to do without submitting your product and asking for a letter ruling,” he said. “You can’t tell what the agency has said in the past to others, because those letter rulings are generally secret. How could somebody know how to comply with the law?”

To read more click here.

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Gets Rare ‘Red State’ Endorsement

doj photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Eric Holder, a favorite target of Congressional Republicans in the wake of the Fast and Furious debacle in which ATF officials let guns “walk” from Southwestern dealers in the US to drug cartels in Mexico, is getting a rare endorsement from a prominent official in Utah–“perhaps the reddest of Republican-red states”–the website Main Justice reports.

“To come all the way out here to a red state and speak to us on a big occasion, I think it’s huge,” Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Holder is expected to give the keynote address at the Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Commission’s annual launch in Salt Lake City.

Shurtleff has been a vocal supporter of Holder, co-authoring an editorial in the Arizona Republic in November with former Utah AG Terry Goddard which argued, as Holder did before Congress, that Congress has failed to give the Justice Department the tools and funding needed to stop the flow of guns across the border, Main Justice reported.

Still, other state Republicans are as unhappy about Holder’s appearance as some might expect. The Attorney General “needs to be held responsible for the ‘Fast and Furious’ debacle and should be immediately removed from office,” State Rep. Carl Wimmer said. “…The man has no right to be in the position he is in,” he said.

To read more click here.

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ATF Agent Was Likely Killed by Friendly Fire, NY Daily News Reports

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Sadly, investigators believe the off-duty ATF agent who was shot and killed while struggling with a robbery suspect last Saturday at a Long Island pharmacy, was likely shot by friendly fire from a retired Nassau County police lieutenant, the New York Daily News reported, citing unnamed sources.

The paper reported that agent John Capano, 51, was picking up cancer medicine for his father at Charlie’s Family Pharmacy in Seaford when he ran into a robbery in progress.

It was New Year’s Eve day, and Capano had planned to spend the evening with his wife, two children and father, the Daily News reported. His mother had just died of cancer two weeks before.

FBI and ATF are running ballistics tests, the paper reported, but investigators’ working theory is that Capano was killed by friendly fire.

To read the full story click here.

 

FBI, ATF Join Abortion Clinic Arson Investigation in Fla.

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Federal investigators are looking into a suspicious early-Sunday blaze at a Florida abortion clinic which has seen violence in the past, reports the Associated Press.

The fire occurred at American Family Planning in the panhandle town of Pensacola, Fla. this weekend and  largely destroyed the two-story building, but no people were injured, Lt. Kevin Fiedor of the state fire marshal’s office told the AP.

The ATF and the FBI plan to join the investigation, Fiedor said. It is unknown what started the fire, which began in dry vegetation around the outside of the building. It burned underneath the building, spreading up its sides and into the attic.

“It burned for a prolonged period of time,” Fiedor said. “It was a very foggy night and the smoke blended in well with the fog.”

To read more click here.

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