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Tag: ATF

ATF Sting Nets Dozens of Arrests, 90 Guns, 48 Stolen Cars, 6+ Pounds of Drugs

police tapeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A two-year ATF sting intended to crack down on illegal guns and drugs in the San Francisco area lead to the arrests of more than 75 people.

ATF authorities said it was the largest bust of its kind in the agency’s history, Mercury News reports

Earlier this week, more than 1,000 law enforcement officers swarmed areas of San Francisco and San Mateo counties as part of Operation Cold Day. Authorities retrieved 90 guns, 48 stolen vehicles and more than six pounds of dugs, including cocaine and heroin.

“One firearm in the hands of a gang member or a prohibited person is one firearm too many. It only takes one round from one gun to end a life,” ATF Special Agent in Charge Jill Snyder said during a news conference at the San Francisco Police Department. “We targeted those who created a pipeline to stream firearms into the community and then placed them into the hands of violent criminals.”

The investigation is still ongoing.

FBI, ATF Investigate Bombing of Minnesota Mosque

police tapeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The ATF and FBI have joined an investigation into the bombing of a Minnesota Islamic center before dawn Saturday as a group of Muslim worshippers gathered to pray.

The blast was caused by what the FBI called “an improvised explosive device” that rocked the Dar Al Farooq Center in Bloomington, the Star Tribune reports

No injuries were reported after the building was heavily damaged at 5:05 a.m. 

“The post-blast environment is very detailed,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard Thornton said. “You search the wide area in an attempt to find as many components as you can of the device to help us understand how the device was made. That process is substantially complete. … It was an improvised explosive device that was set off early this morning.”

The building housed a mosque, community center and day-care provider. 

ATF: Medical Marijuana Cardholders Barred from Buying Guns

medical marijuanaBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The continuing battle between states and the federal government over medical marijuana just got a lot more intense.

The ATF said Wednesday that medical marijuana cardholders are not allowed to buy guns from licensed dealers, 40/29 News reports.

Although medicinal cannabis has been approved in 29 states, marijuana is still illegal on the federal level. Under President Trump’s administration, the feds are increasing the crackdown on medical marijuana.

People who buy gun from a licensed dealer are required to disclose whether they’re an unlawful marijuana or drug user. Because marijuana is illegal federally, that means anyone who uses it is an unlawful user, said ATF spokesman Kevin Moran.

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Mongols and Law Enforcement

ATF Searches for Suspect Who Stole More Than a Dozen Firearms from Delaware Gun Store

atf badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal agents are trying to identify a suspect who stole more than a dozen firearm from a Delaware gun shop.

The biggest concern is that the 13 handguns and rifle could end up in the hands of criminals in Baltimore, WJZ reports. The suspected broke into the gun shop and stole the weapons, setting off a manhunt.

“The ATF’s number one priority is to keep illegal firearms from winding up in the hands of criminals so that’s our goal today to make sure that we act as quickly as possible,” says ATF Special Agent David Cheplak.

The ATF is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the suspect’s arrest.

“The majority of the violence we’re seeing here in Baltimore is being committed with firearms that are illegally obtained,” Cheplak said.

Other Stories of Interest

ATF Reports Alarming Increase in Stolen Firearms from Gun Shops

File photo of guns, via ATF

File photo of guns, via ATF

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The ATF released a disturbing new report that shows national firearm theft and losses in gun shops increased 20% in 2016. 

The report indicates that 18,394 weapons were stolen last year, and a vast majority were pistols, rifles, revolvers and shotguns.

“Losses and thefts of firearms have increased dramatically in terms of the gun stores,” ATF Special Agent Michael Knight told WHNT19 News

He added: “Also, what has increased extremely, at a high rate, is the armed robberies, and this is a violent crime. This means that the public could potentially be at arms length of the criminal element who are focusing on these gun stores.”

Georgia led the nation with 1,539 stolen or missing firearms in 2016. Florida followed with 1,260 and Texas with 1,247.

Hawaii, by contrast, reported just three stolen or missing firearms.

Other Stories of Interest

Man Charged in 2010 Murder of Border Patrol Agent Terry to Be Extradited to U.S.

Brian Terry

Brian Terry

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 38-year-old man convicted in the 2010 murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry may soon end up in an American prison.

The Mexican government began the extradition process of Heraclio “Laco” Osorio-Arellanes, who was arrested Wednesday in the state of Chihuahua on a provisional arrested warrant by the U.S., the Arizona Republic reports. 

The Republic reports:

Osorio-Arellanes is the sixth of seven defendants taken into custody in connection with the killing of Terry, 40, in a nighttime gunbattle on Dec. 14, 2010,  in a remote canyon near Rio Rico in Santa Cruz County, about 10 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border. The gunbattle took place between Border Patrol agents who included Terry and a Mexican “rip crew” — criminal gangs that hide in the desert on the U.S. side of the border to rip off smugglers transporting drugs or migrants into the United States from Mexico.

Terry’s death touched off a major political controversy after it was revealed that two guns recovered after the Arizona shootout were linked to “Operation Fast and Furious,” a botched federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives gun-trafficking probe that lost track of hundreds of weapons.

The so-called “gun-walking” scandal resulted in the 2011 resignation of U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives in 2012 voted to hold then-Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress over a dispute concerning “Fast and Furious”-related documents.

ATF: Law Enforcement Officers Increasingly Buying Guns, Illegally Selling Them to Public

File photo of guns, via ATF

File photo of guns, via ATF

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The ATF is warning police departments that federal law enforcement officers are increasingly buying and illegally reselling unlicensed guns, which often are ending up in the hands of criminals.

The agency called the scheme an “emerging problem” that is adding to the flood of illegal firearms in the country the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports. 

Among the guns sold on the black market are “off-roster” guns that only can be purchased by law enforcement.

“Recently, ATF has discovered that some law enforcement officers who do not have a (Federal Firearms License) are purchasing ‘off roster’ firearms and reselling those firearms to non-law enforcement entities for a profit,” Special Agent in Charge of the ATF in Los Angeles Eric D. Harden wrote in an advisory.

Some of the guns are surfacing at crime scenes.

“In some instances, ATF has discovered officers who purchased more than 100 ‘off roster’ firearms that were subsequently transferred to non-law enforcement individuals,” Harden continued. “Such transactions potentially constitute violations of federal firearms laws, to include dealing firearms without a FFL, and lying on a federal firearms form when purchasing said firearm — also known as ‘straw purchasing.’ ”