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Tag: ATF

2 Undercover ATF Agents Infiltrate and Help Bust Motorcycle Gang

doj photo

doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Two undercover ATF agents agents infiltrated the violent Pagans Outlaw Motorcycle Gang and derailed a plot to kill rival Hells Angels members with homemade grenades, the New York Daily News reported.

That interesting tidbit came out as federal agents rounded up 19 members and associates of the Pagans Outlaw Motorcycle Gang, including a 70-year-old man, in Long Island,New Jersey and Delaware, the Daily News reported. An explosive device packed with nails and 34 guns was seized, according to an ATF press release.

During the 21-month probe, one of the undercover ATF agents was inducted into the gang and was given access to its bookkeeping, which inclued names, addresses and motorcycle descriptions, the Daily News reported.

The agent became the Long Island chapter’s second-highest ranking member, the paper said, citing court papers.

To read more click here.

Washington Post Editorial: NRA Pushes to Undermine ATF’s Gun Enforcement Through Bill

atf file photo

atf file photo

By The Washington Post
Editorial Page

WASHINGTON — ONLY ABOUT 10 percent of the nation’s 100,000 licensed gun dealers are audited each year by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

The ATF cannot fine wayward dealers; its only tool at the moment involves revoking a miscreant’s license. And that happens only about 100 times annually.

But even this level of scrutiny rankles the National Rifle Association, which is pushing for legislation that threatens to gut the ATF’s already limited ability to keep illegal guns off the streets.

The bill, formally known as the ATF Reform and Firearms Modernization Act, is making headway in both houses of Congress, with hearings likely to take place in the Senate this month. The bill should be dramatically rewritten or scrapped altogether.

To read more.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Ex-FBI Agent Gets 2-Year Prison Term for Illegally Selling Guns

50 caliber barrett rifle

50 caliber barrett rifle

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An El Paso FBI agent is headed off to prison.

John Shipley, now formerly of the FBI, was sentenced Tuesday in El Paso to two years in prison for illegally selling more than $118,000 worth of guns without a license and lying to ATF agents about the sales.

U.S. District Judge David Briones also ordered Shipley to be under supervised release for three years after serving in prison and that he forfeit 17 firearms including two 50 caliber Barrett rifles, ammunition, a silencer and $7,340 seized during the execution of a search warrant, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

A federal jury convicted him in April after less than three hour of deliberation. He was busted while working for the FBI and then put on unpaid leave.

ATF agents arrested Shipley last year after tracing back to him a .50 caliber rifle that was used in a drug cartel shootout in Chihuahua, Mexico, authorities said.

“This investigation shows ATF’s commitment into stopping the illegal trafficking of firearms that are fueling the cartel violence south of the border,” Robert Champion, ATF special in charge of the Dallas Division, said in a statement.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

ATF Busts Texas Cop for Selling Guns From Evidence Room

texasBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A 55-year-old Texas cop had a nice little thing going — that is until he got busted by ATF and the Texas Rangers.

Authorities charged that Harry Leroy Kelly, as a cop with the Cleveland Police Department in Liberty County, Tex., sold guns and ammunition from the evidence room. He is currently a captain with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities alleged that Kelly had control over the evidence room and was responsible for destroying items.  As part of his scheme, Kelly drafted papers showing he destroyed firearms, when in fact he had not.

He faces 103 counts of possession of a stolen firearm, two counts of possession of a firearm without a serial number, one count of possession of stolen ammunition and one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Texas said.

“Sometime in 2007, Harry Kelly began taking firearms from the evidence room and traded or bartered them to his friend, who in turn gave Harry Kelly credits for the merchandise that Kelly brought, which Kelly used to buy his own firearms for his own firearm business,” U.S. Attorney John M. Bales said, according to TV station KPRC.

White House Considering Nominating Chicago ATF’s Andrew Traver to Head Agency

atf_sealBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Andrew Traver, head of the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Chicago could soon be nominated to take the top job in the agency, Al Kamen of the Washington Post reports.

The Post said Traver would be the first-ever Senate-confirmed ATF director.

A source has told ticklethewire.com that two members of Congress from Illinois have written letters of recommendation to the White House on behalf of Traver, who has expressed an intense interest in the job.

“He’s an experienced special agent with more than 20 years,” former ATF official James Cavanaugh, who recently retired after 33 1/2 years with the agency, told ticklethewire.com. “He’s a good leader. He’s quiet. He’s strong. He certainly has the battle scars of law enforcement and law enforcement command.”

“I think he would be a good pick because he’s not a political person.”

ATF Defends Agent Facing Murder Rap in Virgin Islands

caribbean-mapBy Allan Lengel
For AOL News

WASHINGTON — From Capitol Hill to the Caribbean, a controversy is growing over a decision by Virgin Islands officials to charge a federal agent with second-degree murder in a 2008 shooting. The agent, William Clark, remains on the job at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — and his agency is adamant that he has done nothing wrong.

The ATF responded to the charge by removing its agents, including Clark, from the U.S. territory. And in Washington, U.S. Rep. Chris Lee, R-N.Y., on Monday night introduced a congressional resolution applauding Clark for his “heroic action” in the 2008 incident.

“The ATF incident review examined the circumstances and cleared Will of any wrongdoing,” Lee said in a statement to AOL News. “Will is a hero who acted in self-defense while protecting a battered woman from an intoxicated, abusive man.”

But the congressional delegate from the Virgin Islands described her colleague’s actions as an attempt to meddle with a case that is “rightfully before the court.”

Delegate Donna M. Christensen told AOL News that while the Clark incident has created “tension” with some congressional colleagues, she is reluctant to second-guess “my police and attorney general, who felt there was enough of a question that excessive force was used.”

To read full story click here.

ATF and FBI Investigate Fire Involving Fed Prosecutor’s Mailbox

mailboxBy Allan lengel
ticklethewire.com

There are mailboxes. And then there are mailboxes that belong to federal prosecutors.

As for the latter, those mailboxes get special attention.

The Palm Beach Post reports that the FBI, ATF and U.S. Postal Service are investigating a firework on Sunday that triggered a fire in the mailbox of an assistant U.S. Attorney in Caloosa, Fla., just north of Palm Beach Gardens.

The paper reported that Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department sent out a bomb squad to investigate and the FBI and ATF have now joined in.

Still, it may be nothing more than a prank.

“It looks more like malicious mischief at this time,” ATF spokesman Carlos Baixauli told the paper. “We don’t know if the people knew she was a U.S. Attorney, or if it was somebody having fun trying to blow up a mailbox. Right now we have nothing to believe it was intended for her.”

FBI and ATF Join Car Bomb Probe in Mexico Allegedly Involving Drug Cartel in Border Town

mexico-border-signBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and ATF have joined the probe in Mexico into a July 15 car bomb in the border town of Juarez that killed three people, the El Paso Times reported. The bomb, made of  C-4 plastic, was detonated by cell phone.

It was the first time drug cartels had used a car bomb in Mexico, a disturbing sign in a drug war that appears to be only getting worse.

“The FBI sent a small team to the crime scene to consult with our Mexican counterparts and we have offered them technical assistance with the car bombing,” El Paso FBI Special Agent Andrea Simmons said Sunday, according to the the paper. “We would only be involved if the Mexican government asked for our assistance in some way.”

ATF spokesman Tom Crowley in Dallas said his agency was also assisting, the El Paso Times reported.

“The ATF is providing Mexican officials with help on the technical aspects of the bomb,” Crowley told the paper. “We have provided post-blast training to Mexican law enforcement in the past. It is the same kind of training we give to state and local police in the United States.

“Post-blast involves reconstructing the device used in the explosion so investigators can determine what it was and where it might have come from.”

The paper reported that Mexican authorities said the bombing was the result of officials arresting a lieutenant in the Carrillo Fuentes drug cartel.

To read more click here.