From running an undercover gun-buying operation near a school to ensnaring people with mental disabilities, a federal storefront sting run in Florida bore a strong resemblance to other flawed U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operations nationwide. After Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports exposing the agency’s use of people with disabilities in such operations, the attorney for one defendant went to trial and made the difficult-to-prove argument that her client was entrapped by agents. She argued that ATF agents persuaded her client to get them guns.
The jury agreed. Alexis Davis, who has an IQ of 59 and reads at a second-grade level, was found not guilty in a trial last month. His acquittal is the latest blow to the undercover stings, already under investigation by Congress and the main U.S. Justice Deparment. Attorney General Eric Holder has called the tactics “ridiculous” and vowed accountability. The ATF said it has stopped the stings until it can get them right.