Calling the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ tactics appalling, alarming, disturbing and “almost unimaginable,” members of Congress yesterday slammed the agency for how it conducted storefront stings across the nation and renewed their demand for answers, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. A sharply worded letter signed by lawmakers who led the probe into the agency’s flawed Fast and Furious operation in Arizona follows an investigation by the Journal Sentinel that detailed how ATF used rogue tactics in storefront stings across the nation.
Members of both parties have demanded answers from the agency and director B. Todd Jones since last January, when the newspaper exposed foul-ups and failures in an ATF sting in Milwaukee dubbed Operation Fearless. The letter was signed by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee; Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-VA.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. “In all of these cases, ATF apparently wasted taxpayer dollars on purchases,” the lawmakers wrote, citing two examples detailed by Journal Sentinel, including a defendant’s buying a gun at a store for $700 and selling it to an undercover agent hours later for $2,000.