Ravenwood - 03/24/14 06:25 PM
A federal judge issued a scathing opinion against the ATF for their "stash house" stings in Los Angeles. The stings, which the judge referred to as made-up crime, involve soliciting people to rob houses that are supposedly chock full o' drugs, but which don't actually exist. The ATF then arrests the suspects for the supposed robbery, with penalties based on the fake amounts the ATF invented.
[U.S. District Court Judge Otis] Wright said agents had no evidence that [defendant Antuan] Dunlap had been involved in drug house robberies in the past or that he would have participated in one had an undercover ATF agent not offered him the chance to steal as much as 25 kilograms of non-existent cocaine. He criticized the government for basing the severity of the charges Dunlap faced on the "whims" of federal agents and questioned whether the ATF's investigations have done anything to benefit public safety.It's about damned time. This is not the first time the ATF has resorted to entrapment and other questionable tactics (not even counting Operation Fast and Furious). A few years ago they solicited a mentally challenged man to get people to buy them guns at exorbitant prices in a Milwaukee sting that included plying juveniles with alcohol.
The news organization found the agency used mentally disabled people to promote operations and then arrested them on drug and gun charges; opened storefronts close to schools and churches, boosting their arrest numbers and penalties; and attracted juveniles with free video games and alcohol.Crime in the surrounding area actually spiked thanks to your friendly neighborhood ATF agents.
Agents paid inflated prices for guns, which led to people buying weapons at stores and selling them to undercover agents hours later, in some cases for nearly three times what they paid. In addition, agents allowed armed felons to leave their fake stores and openly bought stolen goods, spurring burglaries in surrounding neighborhoods. The ATF operations themselves were burglarized.
In Milwaukee, Operation Fearless' lead undercover agent had three of his guns, including a machine gun, stolen from his car. The machine gun and a handgun remain missing, a Milwaukee police spokesman said Thursday.
After 9/11, ATF was changed from being a tax collection agency and moved from the Department of the Treasury to the DOJ. Since then they have proved time and again that they are not cut out to be a full fledged "law enforcement" organization.
Congress should just disband them and turn their duties over to the FBI.
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