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Congress investigates botched ATF operation in Milwaukee


UNDATED (WSAU)  The House judiciary chairman and three other congressional leaders are demanding answers about the A-T-F’s botched operation in Milwaukee. They fired off a seven-page letter yesterday to Todd Jones, the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The congressional leaders want written answers to over two dozen questions about a fake business set up by the A-T-F in Milwaukee called Fearless Distributing. It was designed to take in illegal guns and drugs.

But the Journal Sentinel said somebody burglarized the place after it was open for 10 months and stole $35,000 worth of items, including an agent’s machine gun. And the A-T-F left the building with thousands of dollars in damage, while leaving a sensitive document behind.

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said his department and the A-T-F are still looking for the stolen machine gun. House Judiciary Chairman Robert Goodlatte wrote the leader which demanded answers, along with House Crime Sub-committee chairman Jim Sensenbrenner of Menomonee Falls, House Oversight panel chairman Darrell Issa, and ranking Democrat Charles Grassley on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Wisconsin Senate Republican Ron Johnson wrote a separate letter to the A-T-F, and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett also wants an investigation. He’s especially concerned about the stray document – which included personal information about the agents in the operation. The mayor said the A-T-F got sloppy, and it put people’s lives in danger.

Thirty people were arrested, although the Journal Sentinel said charges were sought against three of the wrong people. The operation also seized 145 guns.