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Drug dealer gets 12 years in prison for selling to agents during botched ATF operation

Judges gavel and stryker By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Judges gavel and stryker By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - A drug dealer was sentenced to 12 years in prison Tuesday, for selling to federal agents in a botched sting operation in Milwaukee.

33-year-old Bobby Ball was only caught selling five grams of heroin and two grams of pot – but officials said he had a violent criminal record which justified the prison term.

The Journal Sentinel said Ball’s case exposed a major failure in the planning of “Operation Fearless,” a gun and drug buying operation set up last year by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. T

he paper conducted a detailed review of the operation. It found that Ball was allowed to leave a fake ATF storefront after he threatened to shoot somebody.

Agents apparently wanted to buy Ball’s .38-caliber revolver – but he refused to sell, saying he needed it because his cousin had been shot.

The paper said the ATF assumed it could buy all the weapons it wanted – and it did not have a plan on what to do when prospective sellers said no. 

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