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Tag: ATF

ATF Probing Theft of Guns From Suburban Chicago Police Dept. Shooting Range

atf_sealBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

ATF is investigating the theft of nearly two dozen weapons from the shooting range of a suburban Chicago police department, the Chicago Tribune is reporting.

The weapons stolen from the Harvey Police Department included handguns and MP5 and AR-15 assault weapons, the Trib reported. They were reported stolen from a trailer at the facility on Monday.

Special Agent Tom Ahern, an ATF spokesman, told the Tribune his agency was working with the Illinois State Police.

To read more click here.

Column: ATF Needs a Little Love in Times Square

times square artBy Jeff Stein
SpyTalk

WASHINGTON — Poor ATF: It don’t get no respect.

NYPD’s Ray Kelly, Attorney General Holder and DHS honcho Janet Napolitano all heaped praise on themselves and each other for their fabulous work in the Times Square bomb case.

But the ATF? Nada. Out of sight, out of mind, evidently, overlooked like the acned geek at the high school prom.

This, even though ATF agents contributed some very nice work in helping to apprehend the accused would-be truck-bomber, Faisal Shahzad, particularly with their quick trace of a gun found in the suspect’s car. The ATF also had agents working with the NYPD’s bomb unit and the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

“We didn’t want to push the issue,” Joseph Green, New York spokesman for the ATF, told SpyTalk Friday night.

Okay, I will.

To read on click here.

Ex-Tulsa ATF Agent Pleads Guilty to Drug Dealing: Also Admits Making Up Drug Deal That Sent 2 to Prison

tulsaBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An ex-ATF agent from Tulsa, Ok., pleaded guilty Thursday to drug trafficking. He also admitted conspiring to fabricate a drug buy in 2007 that wrongfully sent a father and daughter to federal prison.

Ex-ATF agent Brandon J. McFadden, 34, who left the agency last year, pleaded guilty to distributing more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, authorities said. He had joined ATF in 2002 after working as a cop in Lubbock, Tex.

He also admitted that he and  Tulsa cop Jeff  Henderson  made up a non-existent drug buy in 2007 that sent Larry Barnes and his daughter to prison. The two were released from prison last summer as a result of an ongoing federal  public corruption investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

McFadden faces a prison sentence of not less than five years and not more than 40 and a fine of up to $2 million. Sentencing is set for July 28.

“Officer Henderson and I stole drugs and money, delivered drugs, falsified reports, gave false testimony and used informant Ryan Logsdon to sell drugs,” McFadden told U.S. Magistrate Judge Frank McCarthy in U.S. District Court in Tulsa, according to the Tulsa World newspaper.

Henderson has been suspended from the department, but has not been charged, the paper said.  He has denied wrongdoing.

Read Plea Bargain

Ex-ATF Official Weighs in on NY Car Bomb: “It Was a Grandiose Plot But Sort of a Ridiculous Device”

James Cavanaugh/atf photo

James Cavanaugh/atf photo

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

WASHINGTON — James Cavanaugh, who recently retired as a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives official after 33 years, Monday shared his insights into the Times Square car bomb with AOL News.

Cavanaugh said he thought the culprit or culprits likely had international ties. He also said he wouldn’t rule out the theory that the bomb was in retaliation for an episode of the Comedy Central cartoon “South Park” that mocked the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

But, he said, the device was poorly built and appeared destined to fail. “It was just too complicated,” he said. “It was a grandiose plot, but sort of a ridiculous device.”

AOL News: How much planning went into this?

Cavanaugh: It’s not one day of planning and it’s not one year’s worth of planning. It looks like two or three weeks. This device was thrown together slapdash. It’s clear they never tested it or had any technical skills to build it. It’s almost as if they read about it on the Web and tried to build it. It came out flawed, and it malfunctioned. You can tell it’s quite a complicated contraption.

To read the rest of interview click here.

OTHER RELATED STORIES

Texas Fed Prosecutors Want Convicted El Paso FBI Agent to Forfeit Weapons, Silencer and Cash

remington

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Federal prosecutors in El Paso want FBI agent John Thomas Shipley, who was convicted this month of dealing weapons without a license and lying to ATF agents about the sales, to forfeit 17 weapons, a silencer, ammunition and $7,340 in cash found in his home.

Authorities filed a motion last week in U.S. District Court in El Paso asking for the forfeiture and listing the weapons, which includes Remington rifles and Glocks. The silencer was described  as “IAWC Systems Technology Silencer, Model Thundertrap .30.”

A federal jury in El Paso deliberated for less than three hours earlier this month before convicting Shipley.

ATF agents arrested Shipley, 40, last year after tracing back to him a .50 caliber rifle that was used in a drug cartel shootout in Chihuahua, Mexico.

Authorities charged that he sold 51 weapons between 2005 and 2008 for more than $118,000. Sentencing is set for July 8.

Fear of Pro-Gun Lobby Groups in Election Year Leaves ATF Without Senate-Confirmed Leader

Kenneth Melson/fbi photo

Kenneth Melson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — There have been times when ATF has felt like the stepchild in the world of law enforcement — particularly when compared to the FBI.

This may be one of those times.

Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff reports that 15 months after President Obama has taken office, the White House has yet to appoint someone to head ATF.

ATF agents have been saying all along that the White House doesn’t want to deal with appointment before the upcoming elections, fearing it would dredge up some hot button issues like gun control and rally the powerful pro-gun lobby against anti-gun candidates.

James Cavanaugh/ticklethewire.com photo

James Cavanaugh

Consequently, the acting director, Kenneth Melson, was recently demoted to deputy director. A law limits how long acting chiefs can head up federal agencies, Newsweek reports.

“It’s shocking and indefensible,” says Kristen Rand of the Violence Policy Center, a gun-control group, “that when you have a huge problem from gun trafficking and gun violence, they have left this agency leaderless.”

“The message that’s sent to the employees is, ‘You don’t matter,'” Jim Cavanaugh, a 33-year bureau veteran who retired this month as the agent in charge of the Nashville office told Newsweek.

To read more of Newsweek report click here.

Texas FBI Agent Convicted of Illegal Gun Sales and Lying to ATF

el paso map istockBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A federal jury in El Paso deliberated for less than three hours Wednesday before convicting FBI agent John Thomas Shipley of dealing weapons without a permit and lying to ATF agents about the sales, the El Paso Times reported.

ATF agents arrested Shipley, 40, last year after tracing back to him a .50 caliber rifle that was used in a drug cartel shootout in Chihuahua, Mexico, the El Paso Times reported.

Sentencing is set for July 8.

Authorities charged that he sold 51 weapons between 2005 and 2008 for more than $118,000.

The El Paso Times reported that Shipley allegedly kept two sets of records, one accurate one and another that was given to ATF that lacked pertinent information. He has been suspended from the FBI without pay.

To read more click here.

Column: The History of April 19th: American Revolution, Waco, Oklahoma Bombing

Greg Stejskal, a columnist for ticklethewire.com. , was an  FBI agent for 31 years before retiring as resident agent in charge of the Ann Arbor, Mi. office. He was one of the FBI SWAT team leaders who searched the Michigan farm of James Nichols, brother of convicted Oklahoma bomber Terry Nichols, in 1995 after the bombing.
Greg Stejskal

Greg Stejskal

By Greg Stejskal

Listen my children, and you shall hear

Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,

On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy Five….

Longfellow’s poem forever immortalized Paul Revere’s ride. What the poem does not say is that Revere’s mission that night was to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that British soldiers were coming to Lexington to arrest them.

It was after midnight, April 19th, when Revere arrived in Lexington and warned Adams and Hancock. Revere also aroused the country side, and that morning the “Minute Men” met the British regulars on Lexington green. No one knows who fired the first shot- “the shot heard around the world”. But on that morning, April 19, 1775, the American Revolution began.

In a perverse twist of fate, on April 19, 1993, it is the 51st day of a siege at the Branch Davidian compound, also known as Mt Carmel, outside of Waco, Texas. It is to be the last day of the siege, a culmination of a series of bad decisions and missed opportunities.

waco-branch-davidians

The siege began on February 28th. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) had gone to the Davidian compound to execute search warrants. The warrants were based on affidavits stating the Davidians possessed certain illegal weapons to include fully automatic weapons and components to convert semi-automatic weapons into fully automatic. Some of the Davidians were known to have a propensity for violence including their leader, David Koresh, who had changed his name from Vernon Howell.

Read more »