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Tag: ATF

Trump Formally Nominates FOP’s Kenneth Canterbury to Head ATF

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Kenneth “Chuck” Canterbury via Twitter.

President Trump’s pick to head the ATF, Kenneth “Chuck” Canterbury, was formally nominated Wednesday.

Trump announced his pick last month, but the formal nomination means his name has been sent to the Senate for a vote.

Canterbury has served as the president of the National Fraternal Order of Police since 2003.

If approved, Canterbury will replace Thomas Brandon, who recently announced his retirement.

ATF: Suspect in Virginia Beach Mass Shooting Legally Bought Handguns

Dewayne Craddock

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A public works employee employee who opened fire at a municipal building in Virginia Beach, killing 12 people and seriously wounding several others legally, legally purchased the two handguns found at the scene, the ATF said.

The suspected gunman, Dewayne Craddock, a 40-year-old engineer who worked in public utilities, bought both .45 caliber handguns, one in 2016 and the other in 2018.

ATF agents believe the guns were not used in previous crimes. One of the guns had a suppressor and several empty extended magazines.

Additional weapons were found at the suspect’s home.

Authorities still don’t know what motivated the shooting. Craddock had put in his two-week notice and had no disciplinary actions during his 15 years at public works.

During an intense shootout with police, Craddock was killed. A police officer was shot in the stomach but was not seriously injured because of a bullet-proof vest.

N.H. Man Sentenced to 16+ Years for Assaulting, Robbing ATF Informant

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A New Hampshire man was sentenced to 16-and-a-half years in prison for his role in the 2017 beating and robbing of an ATF informant who was trying to purchase guns.

Anthony R. Farmer, 26, of Manchester, and two co-defendants robbed and assaulted the unnamed informant who was helping the ATF and met the suspects at a Nashua home on the pretext of illegally buying firearms.

At the home, the suspects assaulted the informant and robbed him of the money that was intended to make the gun purchase.

Anthony Farmer

What the suspects didn’t know was that the informant was wearing audio and video surveillance equipment that captured the robbery and assault. The suspects were arrested soon after the assault.

In August 2018, Farmer pleaded guilt to conspiracy, robbery, assault, use of a firearm during a crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Co-defendant Raymond Perez was sentenced to 51 months, and another co-defendant, Aaron Sperow, was sentenced to 102 months in prison.

“Violent crime involving firearms is a grave threat to the safety of the public,” U.S. Attorney Murray said in a news release.  “This substantial sentence shows that there will be serious consequences for those who choose to participate in crimes of violence. Through Project Safe Neighborhoods, we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect our cities and towns from gun violence.”

“Today’s sentencing demonstrates law enforcement’s commitment to protect our communities from violent crime,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Kelly D. Brady, ATF Boston Field Division. “ATF will continue to collaborate with our law enforcement partners to eradicate violent gun related crime and keep our neighborhoods safe.”

ATF Headquarters Evacuated After Employee Felt Sick from Package with ‘a Suspicious Liquid Substance’

Photo via ATF.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ATF’s headquarters in Washington D.C. was evacuated Thursday afternoon after an employee said she felt sick after opening a package containing “a suspicious liquid substance.”

Hazmat crews tested the substance and did not detect anything harmful. The substance was sent to a lab for further analysis, ATF said on Twitter at 4:32 p.m.

“Hazmat is out, substance tested clear, will send to lab for further analysis,” tweeted.

D.C. Police, Fire and EMS also responded to the scene.

There were no updates on the employee early Friday morning.

“More information will be released at the appropriate time,” ATF tweeted.

ATF, FBI Help Local Police Investigate Colorado School Shooting

Devon Erickson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and ATF are helping local law enforcement investigate a mass shooting at a Colorado school that left one student dead and eight others injured Tuesday.

Two shooting suspects – a female juvenile and 18-year-old man – were arrested after authorities said they opened fire in two separate classrooms shortly before 2 p.m. at STEM School Highlands Ranch, a charter school just eight miles from Columbine High School. Police identified the adult suspect as Devon Erickson.

The victims were ages 15 and older, and the male student who died was 18 years old, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

Several of the victims were in critical condition, NBC News reports.

The FBI and ATF will help execute search warrants and determine a motive.

Last month, the STEM school was among several schools that canceled classes while the FBI searched for a woman “infatuated” with the Columbine shootings. She was later found dead from an apparent suicide.

ATF Security Guard Pleads Guilty to Stealing Firearms, Ammunition from Agency

Christopher Lee Yates

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former contract security guard who stole guns, ammunition and firearms parts from the ATF and then sold them pleaded guilty Wednesday to crimes related to the thefts.

Christopher Lee Yates, of Martinsburg, W.V., admitted in court that he stole the items from ATF’s National Firearms and Ammunition Destruction Branch facility near Martinsburg, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Bill Powell.

An investigation found that Yates stole the guns, ammunition and firearm parts while serving as a security guard from 2016 to 2019.

Yates, who faces up to 10 years behind bars and a $250,000 fine, pleaded guilty in exchange for prosecutors dismissing two felony counts.

What remains unclear is why the ATF didn’t have safeguards in place to avoid the thefts.

Prosecutors File Hate Crime Charges Against Man Accused of Torching 3 Black Churches

Holden Matthews

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Prosecutors have filed hate crime charges against the white man suspected of setting fire to three African American churches in Louisiana.

Authorities believe Holden Matthews, the 21-year-old son of a sheriff’s deputy, was motivated by racism when he allegedly used gasoline to burn three historic black church in the St. Landry Parish over 10 days, The Associated Press reports.

On Monday, Matthews pleaded not guilty to the hate crimes and three counts of arson of a religious building. Worried Matthews is a flight risk, state District Judge James Doherty denied bail for Matthews, who had no previous criminal record.

“We felt that he was an immediate risk to public safety,” said Louisiana Fire Marshal Butch Browning. “In my mind, I felt another fire was imminent.”

The ATF helped local authorities in the hunt for the culprit.

Matthews was charged after authorities said his cell phone records placed him at the arsons. Found on the phone were images of the three churches burning, the fire marshal said.

Son of Sheriff’s Deputy Arrested Over Fires at 3 Black Churches in La.

Suspect Holden Matthews. Via Facebook.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The 21-year-old son of a St. Landry Parish deputy has been identified as the suspect accused of setting fire to three historic black churches in Louisiana.

“A suspect has been identified in connection with the three church burnings in Opelousas, Louisiana, and is in state custody,” said U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph in a statement. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office, ATF, and FBI are working with state and local law enforcement and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the victims and those St. Landry Parish residents affected by these despicable acts.”

Holden Matthews was turned in by his father, Deputy Roy Matthews, on Wednesday evening, CBS News reports.

The three fires have a lot in common: They broke out at historic African American church buildings in Louisiana Landry Parish at night, were located in rural areas and occurred when no one was inside.

The suspect lives in the Landry Parish.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether authorities have a motive.

The ATF and other agencies are holding a press conference at 10 a.m. Thursday to release more information.

Earlier this week, the NAACP called the church burnings “domestic terrorism” aimed at people because of their race and faith.

The first fire broke out on March 26 and burned St. Mary Baptist Church in Port Barre to the ground. The second fire occurred Tuesday at the Greater Union Baptist Church in Opelousas, and the third fire broke out Thursday at the 100-year-old Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Opelousas.