ATF incompetence shines during Milwaukee Sting Operation; Comedy of Errors, Ignorance, and Bureaucratic Malpractice

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has done the entire country a service on its expose of ATF incompetence, malevolence, and unconcern for citizens and their rights.  The Department of Justice released a 200 page report on the investigation that the Journal Sentinel instigated. Here is a short synopsis of what they have found:

The sting was originally targeted at aging motorcyclists who sold insufficiently taxed cigarettes.  But the motorcyclists were too smart, so they shifted to inner city guns, with permission from HQ, but then changed the location without permission.

The ATF spent about $200,000 to convict some low level criminals with tactics that reek of entrapment.

The ATF attempted to bring in the FBI. Once the FBI saw the setup, they left after three weeks.

Much like gun “buy backs” the ATF overpaid for guns, causing people to legally buy guns and re-sell them to the ATF for a profit.

The ATF refused to pay their bills.  When the landlord asked for payment, they threatened him.  The landlord sued.  The ATF eventually settled for $25,000.

When the ATF left, after nine months, they left behind sensitive paperwork with infomant names and phone numbers.

Finally, an ATF agent’s pistol and an automatic rifle were stolen from a vehicle near the shop.  They have never been recovered. That was the event that triggered the end of the operation.

In other towns in Portland, Oregon, Wichita, Kansas, and Pensacola, Florida, there were similar operations with little to show for their actions.

The case has resulted in reforms being implemented.  As a retired career bureucrat, I feel qualified to say that such reforms may work for a while, but the effects gradually fade.

A recent article summed up the operations, based on a 112 page report released by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General.

The article by the Journal Sentinel is well worth reading.

Link to Article

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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