Get Our Newsletter



Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

July 2019
S M T W T F S
« Jun    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: Guns

One of ATF’s Most Wanted Fugitives Was Arrested at Native American Reservation

Michael Strain

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. marshals arrested one of the ATF’s most wanted fugitives after he spent eight years evading authorities.

Michael Duane Strain, 62, of Iowa, fled after he was indicted on federal firearms charges in 2011. Federal agents found thousands of rounds of ammunition and numerous firearms.

Authorities found Strain on a ranch on a Montana Native American reservation, The USA Today reports.

A self-proclaimed sovereign citizen, Strain refused to comply with government authorities, saying they had no jurisdiction over him. He made the same claim when he was taken into custody, according to court records.

After receiving a telephone tip, marshals found Strain at the Crow Reservation, where he “was basically squatting on the property,” according to an affidavit from Stephen Feuerstein, a detective assigned to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

FBI Warned in 2016 about Gunman at Federal Courthouse in Dallas

Brian Clyde via Facebook

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI was warned in July 2016 about the man who opened fire outside of a federal courthouse in Dallas before being shot to death by law enforcement.

Brian Clyde’s half-brother told the FBI that his sibling should not be permitted to buy a gun because of his obsession with firearms and suicidal thoughts, their mother said, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Clyde’s family also said he was placed in a mental institution but was still able to buy a rifle.

Clyde was fatally shot after opening fire with an AR-15-style rifle at the Earle Cabell Federal Building.

The FBI confirmed the half-brother’s call but insisted there was little they could do.

“The information provided did not contain any specific threat, and no investigation was conducted,” the FBI wrote in a statement.

At the time, the FBI said, the bureau had no legal cause to investigate.

Clyde had no history of violence. His family believed his goal was to get killed.

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.

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 Security Guard Pleads Guilty to Stealing Firearms, Ammunition from Agency

Christopher Lee Yates

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former contract security guard who stole guns, ammunition and firearms parts from the ATF and then sold them pleaded guilty Wednesday to crimes related to the thefts.

Christopher Lee Yates, of Martinsburg, W.V., admitted in court that he stole the items from ATF’s National Firearms and Ammunition Destruction Branch facility near Martinsburg, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Bill Powell.

An investigation found that Yates stole the guns, ammunition and firearm parts while serving as a security guard from 2016 to 2019.

Yates, who faces up to 10 years behind bars and a $250,000 fine, pleaded guilty in exchange for prosecutors dismissing two felony counts.

What remains unclear is why the ATF didn’t have safeguards in place to avoid the thefts.

FBI Arrests Leader of Armed Militia That Was Detaining Undocumented Immigrants

Distant border fence in the desert near El Paso and its Mexican neighbor Juarez.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI on Saturday arrested the leader of an armed militia that was detaining undocumented immigrants at the southern border.

Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 69, was arrested in New Mexico, where the United Constitutional Patriots is based, on charges of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, the New Mexico attorney general, Hector Balderas, announced.

The arrest comes after the group posted controversial images and video of its operations on its Facebook page, showing members detaining immigrants.

“This is a dangerous felon who should not have weapons around children and families,” Balderas wrote in a statement. “The arrest by the FBI indicates clearly that the rule of law should be in the hand of trained law enforcement officials, not armed vigilantes.”

A spokesman for the United Constitutional Patriots claimed responsibility for detaining 5,600 immigrants over the past two months, saying the group’s mission is “to support the Border Patrol.”

But U.S. Customs and Border Protection has urged private citizens not to get involved with detaining immigrants and asked that they instead alert border officials.