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Tag: ATF

ATF Agents in Texas Hunt For Guns One House at a Time to Cut off Mexican Cartels

atf photo

atf photo

Guns from America are flowing into Mexico and the ATF is trying to stop it– or at least slow down the flow. It’s an uphill battle.

By DANE SCHILLER
Houston Chronicle
HOUSTON — In front of a run-down shack in north Houston, federal agents step from a government sedan into 102-degree heat and face a critical question: How can the woman living here buy four high-end handguns in one day?

The house is worth $35,000. A screen dangles by a wall-unit air conditioner. Porch swing slats are smashed, the smattering of grass is flattened by cars and burned yellow by sun.

“I’ll do the talking on this one,” agent Tim Sloan, of South Carolina, told partner Brian Tumiel, of New York.

Success on the front lines of a government blitz on gunrunners supplying Mexican drug cartels with Houston weaponry hinges on logging heavy miles and knocking on countless doors. Dozens of agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – sent here from around the country – are needed to follow what ATF acting director Kenneth Melson described as a “massive number of investigative leads.”

All told, Mexican officials in 2008 asked federal agents to trace the origins of more than 7,500 firearms recovered at crime scenes in Mexico. Most of them were traced back to Texas, California and Arizona.

For Full Story

Read Remarks by ATF  Acting Dir. Kenneth Melson About Southwest Border Violent Crime

D.C. ATF Agent Faced With Choice: Pull Gun or Call For Help and Chase Suspects

Most law enforcement agents and officers are faced with the dilemma at some point or another: pull out the gun and fight it out or call for back up and follow the suspects. ATF Agent Bill Crummett had to make that decision.

capitol1By Clarence Williams
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Bill Crummett had just spent hours organizing federal agents to investigate a fatal shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum when an unrelated burst of gunfire flashed before his eyes.

It happened June 10, hours after the museum violence, as Crummett’s car was stopped at a light a few blocks north of the Capitol.

Two pedestrians in a crosswalk at First and M streets NW pulled out semiautomatic handguns and opened fire on a third man, who was wounded and scrambled for cover behind a sport-utility vehicle. The assailants then hid their weapons in their waistbands, leaving Crummett to make a split-second decision: Engage and risk a firefight or call for help.

For Full Story

Women Filling Some Top Fed Law Enforcement Posts in Balt-Washington Region

Baltimore ATF's Theresa Stoop

Baltimore ATF's Theresa Stoop

Federal law enforcement has come a long way. Here’s some  proof.

By Tricia Bishop
Baltimore Sun
BALTIMORE — When Ava Cooper-Davis took over the Washington division of the Drug Enforcement Administration in March, she became the fourth woman in the region to head a federal law enforcement agency’s field office, alongside the “special agents in charge” at the FBI, ATF and the Secret Service.

While most of the SACs, as they’re known, said it was simply happenstance that the best people qualified for the jobs happen to be female, others see significance in the coincidence. Or, at the very least, they think it’s “cool.”

“It’s a sign of the times, I guess. It certainly is indicative of the fact that we have more women coming out of law school becoming lawyers and more women interested in the broader field of law enforcement,” said Melody Drnach, a vice president with the National Organization for Women. She oversees the group’s grass-roots efforts.

“Roles are changing for women in a positive way,” Drnach said. “We certainly hope that other field offices will take note and try to catch up with the standard set by Maryland.” The Washington division is also responsible for Maryland.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Kenneth Melson Named Acting Chief of ATF

Kenneth Melson/fbi photo

Kenneth Melson/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Kenneth E. Melson, a federal prosecutor who headed the Justice Department’s Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys since 2007, has been named acting head of ATF.

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. made the announcement Wednesday along with some other appointments including Mary Patrice Brown as acting head of the Office of Professional Responsibility.

Prior to heading the Executive Office for U.S. Attorney, Melson was the first assistant for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alexandria, Va.

On different occasions, betwtween 1991 and 2001, Melson served as acting and interim U.S. Attorney for the Alexandria office, the Justice Department said.

Melson started his federal career in 1983 as an assistant U.S. Attorney in Alexandria.

“Ken’s more than 25 years of career federal prosecutor service and his knowledge in forensic science will make him a valuable asset,” Holder said in a prepared statement. “I am pleased that he will provide his talents to such an important Department of Justice agency.”

ATF’s Theresa Stoop Returning To Baltimore as Special Agent in Charge

Theresa Stoop/atf photo

Theresa Stoop/atf photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Theresa R. Stoop of ATF is returning to Baltimore for an encore.
The agency announced Wednesday that Stoop will become the special agent in charge of the Baltimore Field Division, a post she held from 2000 to 2003. The division includes Maryland and Delaware.
“Theresa Stoop brings 24 years of knowledge and experience to Maryland and Delaware as one of ATF’s key leaders,” said acting ATF director Michael Sullivan in a prepared statement.
Prior to this, Stoop served as the deputy assistant director for Training and Professional Development at ATF headquarters, authorities said.