There should be no question over whether Inspector General Michael Horowitz should expand his investigation into undercover storefront operations by the ATF to include rogue tactics exposed by a Journal Sentinel Watchdog Report investigation.
An official with the U.S. Department of Justice said Monday that Horowitz “can and should” expand the investigation, and that’s exactly right. The only question is why have things gone on this long without a proper investigation and what the government will do now to correct matters.
The Watchdog Report investigation by reporters Raquel Rutledge and John Diedrich found that the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has used rogue tactics in storefront operations across the nation for years.
For example, the report noted, agents recruited mentally disabled individuals to promote their operations — including paying one to get a tattoo — and later arrested them. They also put stings near schools and churches, increasing arrest numbers and penalties — and attracting juveniles with free video games and alcohol, according to the report. And they overpaid for guns, encouraging break-ins and purchases from gun stores for a quick profit, the report said.
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