Get Our Newsletter



Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

June 2019
S M T W T F S
« May    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: ATF

Jury Convicts Reputed Gang Member in Shooting Death of ATF Agent in Chicago

Ernesto Godinez

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A reputed gang member accused of shooting an ATF agent in Chicago last year has been convicted.

A federal jury found Ernesto Godinez guilty Monday in the death of the agent, who was killed when a bullet tore through his neck and exited between his eyes on May 4, 2018.

Godinez, 29, will be sentenced Sept. 19.

Police said the agent was placing a tracker on Godinez’s car when the reputed gang member ambushed the agent and opened fire. Prosecutors said Godinez, who was arrested three days later, believed he was shooting a rival gang member.

Surveillance cameras captured Godinez before and after the shooting.

Godinez’s attorney acknowledges his client was in the area the morning of the shooting, but insists Godinez was not involved in the shooting. The 12-member jury didn’t buy that.

Godinez faces up to 20 years in prison.

Theft of Thousands of Guns, Parts from ATF Facility Reveals Serious Problems at Agency

File photo of guns, via ATF

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ATF officials are being evasive about the theft of thousands of guns and firearm parts that were supposed to be destroyed.

Many of the guns had been seized by law enforcement, and others were retired service weapons from the ATF, FBI, DEA and other federal law enforcement agencies.

The weapons disappeared after being sent to the ATF’s National Firearms and Ammunition Destruction Branch in Martinsburg, W.Va., where they were supposed to be destroyed.

The case has exposed the ATF’s failure to keep track of guns sent to the facility and detect when weapons are stolen. The agency has declined to publicly reveal the extent of the thefts, and ATF officials have been evasive when questioned by Congress.

One of the suspects in the thefts, Christopher Yates, a guard at the ATF facility, has admitted stealing thousands of firearms, gun parts and ammunition before selling them. The 52-year-old, a contract employee for the ATF for 16 years, pleaded guilty in federal court in April to stealing government property. He faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced in August.

Yates managed to steal the guns and parts for years without the ATF knowing.

The ATF has failed to provide detailed information on the thefts to Congress, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In a March 28 letter to senators, then-Acting ATF Director Tom Brandon cited Yates’ open case as a reason for failing to provide more information.

“We cannot at this time characterize the scope of the thefts from the Martinsburg facility,” wrote Brandon, who retired in April.

Senators are pledging to get to the bottom of the case.

“The ATF is tasked with protecting our communities and the theft of a substantial amount of weapons, parts and ammunition from ATF facilities raises significant concerns,” Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., wrote in a statement to the Journal Sentinel. “Our committee is seeking a full accounting of this situation, and we hope the ATF will be as transparent as possible while we continue to pursue answers.”

Without a proper accounting of stolen guns, agents at each of the ATF’s 25 field offices have been assigned to search for stolen weapons. That search is taking resources away from fighting crime.

Reputed Gang Member Accused of Shooting ATF Agent Is on Trial

Ernesto Godinez

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A trial is expected to begin today in the murder case of a reputed gang member accused of shooting an ATF agent in Chicago last year.

Prosecutors say Ernesto Godinez opened fire on the agent from an alley in the early morning hours of May, 4 2018, shooting him in the face, Fox 32 reports. Surveillance video spotted Godinez in the area shortly before the shooting.

The agent survived.

Prosecutors said Godinez, who was arrested three days later, believed he was shooting a rival gang member.

Godinez’s attorney acknowledges his client was in the area the morning of the shooting, but insists Godinez was not involved in the shooting.

A 12-person jury was selected Monday, and opening arguments are to begin Tuesday.

If convicted, Godinez could be sentenced up to 20 years in prison.

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.