B. Todd Jones, director of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, is scheduled to speak publicly for the first time to Congress today about a series of mistakes and failures in undercover storefront stings in Milwaukee and nationwide, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He is to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Some questioning is expected to center on what Jones knew and when he knew it regarding Operation Fearless in Milwaukee. The operation was authorized in 2012, four months after Jones became acting ATF director. A Justice Department letter to Congress says Jones did not authorize the operation, and did not know about its many shortcomings until a reporter from the Journal Sentinel called the agency with questions in January 2013. The burglary and theft of an agent’s guns, including a machine gun, from the operation were included in weekly updates provided to Jones’ office, the letter said.