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Tag: ATF

Houston Gun Dealer Says ATF Sanctioned Straw Purchases Since 2006 Before Holder Became A.G.

Atty. Gen. Holder Harangued Over Caribbean Trip

file photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Eric Holder can’t get a break. On break from congressional hounding over ATF’s Fast and Furious program, Holder is now being criticized over an ongoing visit to the Caribbean.

The Daily Beast reports that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who has been sharply critical of  Holder over the Fast and Furious Operation, is ripping into him for traveling for five days to the islands just days after President Obama announced a new austerity program to save billions in federal spending and travel.

“One would think that agreements could be signed on a more abbreviated schedule that saves the attorney general time he continually indicates he doesn’t have, as well as taxpayer money,” said House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Issa, according to The Daily Beast.

Holder has been traveling to sign law-enforcement agreements with local agencies, and to discuss a Medicare fraud sting in the area, according to the Daily Beast. Holder also held a summit with other AGs in the area and plans to attend an international conference on promoting democracy in the Western Hemisphere.

To read more click here.

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Gunfire Exchange Confirmed in Baltimore ATF Operation

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The ATF operation that sent one agent to the hospital this week included an exchange of gunfire, several other injuries and several arrests, reports the Baltimore Sun.

After remaining tight-lipped about the incident, Special Agent Clare A. Weber, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore ATF office, said information about the exchange was initially withheld because of an internal investigation. She said no one was injured from the gunfire, but apparently offered no details on the injuries.

A video of the incident shows that the exchange took place in the parking lot of a storage company in an industrial section of Baltimore. “That video showed a white SUV speeding across the lot, the passenger side door open, and crashing into another car,” reports the Sun. The video also showed police snipers positioned on rooftops.

To read more click here.

 

ATF in Thailand Training Police to Probe Explosions

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Two hours outside of Bangkok, Byron San Marco, an ATF special agent, explodes a hidden bomb slung over the back seat of a motor bike, according to a report by Time magazine.

San Marco and his ATF team will blow up two more improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at the US-funded Tactical Training Center in Cha-am, Thailand. There, they are training Thai police in post-blast training to officers who most sift through wreckage to find evidence of the explosions causes, reports Time.

“The IED has evolved into the weapon of choice for insurgent, terrorist and even criminal networks throughout the world,” the Australian Bomb Data Centre (ABDC), a part of the Australian Federal Police, said in a recent statement.

There are approximately 30,000 government troops and thousands of armed police and paramilitary soldiers deployed across southern Thailand where, like many fragile regions of the earth, IEDs are increasingly threatening.

“We train them to collect anything and everything the bomber brought,” says San Marco, according to Time. “If he delivered the device in a box and that blew up, you want 100% of the box. It may contain DNA, a bar code, a fingerprint.” A cell phone was used to denote the The motor bike bomb, which San Marco hopes his trainees will figure out through the phone’s SIM card or lasting fragments.

To read more about ATF training to Thai police click here.

Late Agent’s Family: Holder Must “Take Responsibility”

Brian Terry

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

In more sobering news…

The family of Brian Terry, the border agent killed  last year near the Arizona border, issued a statement on Wednesday in response to US Attorney General Eric Holder’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The message: Holder needs to “take responsibility” for their son’s death, reports Arizona affiliate of ABC.

Holder was testifying about ATF’s failed Operation Fast and Furious, which encouraged gun dealers to sell to straw purchasers, all with the hopes of tracing the weapons to the Mexican cartels. ATF lost track of plenty of those weapons, some which surfaced at crime scenes including the one where Terry was killed.

Authorities have been unable to determine whether the two weapons found at the scene were actually involved in the shooting.

Holder stopped short of actually apologizing during his testimony before the committee on Tuesday.

“I certainly regret what happened to agent Terry,” he said when Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn asked if Holder would like to apologize for Fast and Furious.

“I am a father of three children myself,” Holder said. “We are not programmed to bury our kids.  It pains me whenever there is the death of a law enforcement officials, especially under the circumstances that this occurred.  It is not fair, however, to assume that the mistake that happened in Fast and Furious directly led to the death of Agent Terry,” he testified.

To read more click here.

ATF, ICE, Local Police Bust $20M Tobacco Op

Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Got a smoke?

The ATF closed a three-year joint investigation by the US Attorney’s office for the Western District of Virginia and District of South Carolina, the ATF, the IRS, ICE and the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Department with multiple arrests in a scheme to move and tobacco illegally between Virginia and South Carolina, reports WYFF.

Indictments indicate that those involved acquired cigarettes in the western district of Virginia and brought them into South Carolina, where they were sold. Investigators told WYFF conspirators paid undercover officers about $20 million for untaxed cigarettes.

To read more, including the names and charges of the indicted, click here.

 

Op Ed: 2 State Atty. Generals — One a Former — Defend ATF and Atty. Gen. Holder

Mark Shurtleff , a Republican, is Utah attorney general; Terry Goddard, a Democrat,  is former Arizona attorney general.
  

Utah Atty. Gen. Mark Shurtleff

By Mark Shurtleff and Terry Goddard
Salt Lake Tribune Op-Ed

Congress and the media have understandably focused on the missteps of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in the “Fast and Furious” sting operation that allowed suspected “straw buyers” to purchase weapons and transport them to Mexico in order to build cases against drug cartels.

However, the covert operation was terminated abruptly after its possible connection to the tragic death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was revealed. Unfortunately, most of the recent criticism about the operation seems to be serving as a means to attack Attorney General Eric Holder and destroy the ATF, rather than to hold those behind Fast and Furious accountable.

The focus should be on the real public safety problem underlying this controversy: keeping arms from the Mexican drug cartels and protecting the security of the United States. However, many of the roadblocks faced by ATF and the Department of Justice are not being built by international criminals, but by Congress.

Ex-Az Atty. Gen. Terry Goddard

We are two Southwestern law enforcement officials, one a Republican and one a Democrat, and both gun owners who have faced border-related crimes on a daily basis over the past decade. We are very concerned about what is happening in Mexico, a critical U.S. ally which must be freed from the clutches of transnational criminal organizations.

We have worked closely with ATF and the Justice Department in our common fight against violent crime and appreciate that Holder has sought more resources for border law enforcement.

To read more click here.

ATF Investigates Sacramento Deputies on Illegal Weapons Sales

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The ATF is investigation Deputies from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department surrounding illegal weapon sales at the Rio Consumes Correction Center, in Elk Grover, Calif., reports local ABC affiliate News10.

Several deputies are being investigated, but ATF Resident Agent in Charge Graham Barlow, who is leading the investigation, said no arrests have been made.

Scott Jones, the Sacramento County Sheriff, has known about the investigations, which have been ongoing for some time. His spokesman told ABC that the matter was ongoing and personal, and had no further comments. Barlow did not release details.

To read more click here.