April 23, 2014

Sensenbrenner calls for investigation into botched ATF sting

Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) is calling for an investigation, to find out why the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives botched a storefront sting operation in Milwaukee.

A report in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel details the story of an ATF storefront called “Fearless Distributing” that was supposed to buy illegal drugs and guns from felons. It ran for 10 months before it was burglarized, and $35,000 in store merchandise was stolen. When the ATF closed the store, the paper said the agency left behind a sensitive document that exposed information about undercover agents. And the building’s owner says the ATF still owes him $15,000 in utility bills and damage to the building.

In a statement released Wednesday, Congressman Sensenbrenner called the news “extremely concerning,” noting that the “Obama Administration wants to pass new gun laws and give new responsibilities to the ATF, but the agency has been inept at enforcing the laws that we already have.”

Sensenbrenner said “giving them more responsibility is like promoting someone who can’t do the job. I will be investigating the ATF’s actions and mistakes because this type of mismanagement is not acceptable. Wisconsinites deserve answers, and I am not going to wait until we have another Fast and Furious-like situation to find them.”

Thirty people were charged in the sting, but the wrong person was named in three of the cases, including one who was in prison for another ATF violation.