UPDATE: US DOJ to review flawed Milwaukee ATF sting

UPDATED Tuesday, May 21, 2013 --- 10:42 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Justice is looking into a flawed Milwaukee sting as part of a larger review into how agents handle certain sensitive cases.

DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz says he's concerned about how the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is being managed. A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report says Horowitz wrote to two Congress members saying his office will look into the agency's management.

The Milwaukee sting involved agents setting up a fake storefront to nab criminals selling guns and drugs. But agents lost guns and left behind sensitive documents, their store was burglarized and they refused to pay their rent.

Republican Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin and Bob Goodlatte of Virginia have demanded that ATF release its internal report on the Milwaukee operation.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, April 4, 2013 --- 11:21 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Several members of Congress have sent another letter to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives demanding information on a flawed undercover sting in Milwaukee by next week.

Those signing the letter dated Wednesday include Wisconsin Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations.

The letter compares the Milwaukee sting to Operation Fast and Furious, a bungled federal gun-tracking operation in Arizona.

A Journal Sentinel investigation found the storefront sting last year was plagued by problems. Agents' guns, including a machine gun, were stolen from the storefront, nearly $40,000 in merchandise from the fake store was stolen, and a sensitive ATF operations plan was left behind. The newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/XeH5Bd ) the machine gun is still missing six months later.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, March 27, 2013 --- 10:28 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The U.S. inspector general says a flawed undercover sting by federal agents in Milwaukee raises significant management issues for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

A letter sent to congressional leaders by Inspector General Michael Horowitz says the problems uncovered in the Milwaukee sting are of particular concerns given the agency's failures in its Operation Fast and Furious, a bungled federal gun-tracking operation in Arizona.

Horowitz tells the congressmen he will decide whether to conduct his own investigation after reviewing the ATF's report on the Milwaukee operation. He says he has been closely following the sting since it was first reported by the Journal Sentinel. The newspaper found agents' guns and nearly $40,000 in merchandise was stolen from the staged storefront in last year's sting.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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Posted Thursday, January 31, 2013 --- 1:17 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Members of Congress are calling for an investigation into the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives following a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report that the agency conducted a flawed sting operation in Milwaukee.

The newspaper reported Wednesday that the ATF ran a 10-month storefront operation intended to bust felons for drug and gun offenses. But no major drug dealers or gang members were taken down. Also, the store was robbed of $35,000 in merchandise, and agents left behind a document listing undercover agents. On Thursday the newspaper reported that Republican and Democratic members of Congress want more details.

Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa says he'll be asking the ATF questions. Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin says Wisconsinites deserve answers, and he'll demand them.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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