Some amazing investigative journalism from The Milwaukee Journal!
Imagine hearing about a business that convinced a mentally ill teen to get a tattoo on his neck that advertised for the business—gave him $150 to mark up his body for commercial purposes.
That actually happened in Portland Oregon at Squid’s Smoke Shop—except it wasn’t a private business.
The BATF ran a fake establishment in order to make firearm arrests. Mentally disabled Aaron Key discovered the truth when he went to jail with his inked tentacles around his neck.
The Journal Sentinel reviewed thousands of pages of court records, police reports and other documents and interviewed dozens of people involved in six ATF operations nationwide that were publicly praised by the ATF in recent years for nabbing violent criminals and making cities safer.
Agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives employed rogue tactics similar to those used in Milwaukee in every operation, from Portland, Ore., to Pensacola, Fla.
Among the findings:
■ ATF agents befriended mentally disabled people to drum up business and later arrested them in at least four cities in addition to Milwaukee. In Wichita, Kan., ATF agents referred to a man with a low IQ as “slow-headed” before deciding to secretly use him as a key cog in their sting. And agents in Albuquerque, N.M., gave a brain-damaged drug addict with little knowledge of weapons a “tutorial” on machine guns, hoping he could find them one.
■ Agents in several cities opened undercover gun- and drug-buying operations in safe zones near churches and schools, allowed juveniles to come in and play video games and teens to smoke marijuana, and provided alcohol to underage youths. In Portland, attorneys for three teens who were charged said a female agent dressed provocatively, flirted with the boys and encouraged them to bring drugs and weapons to the store to sell.
■ As they did in Milwaukee, agents in other cities offered sky-high prices for guns, leading suspects to buy firearms at stores and turn around and sell them to undercover agents for a quick profit. In other stings, agents ran fake pawnshops and readily bought stolen items, such as electronics and bikes — no questions asked — spurring burglaries and theft. In Atlanta, agents bought guns that had been stolen just hours earlier, several ripped off from police cars.
■ Agents damaged buildings they rented for their operations, tearing out walls and rewiring electricity — then stuck landlords with the repair bills. A property owner in Portland said agents removed a parking lot spotlight, damaging her new $30,000 roof and causing leaks, before they shut down the operation and disappeared without a way for her to contact them.
■ Agents pressed suspects for specific firearms that could fetch tougher penalties in court. They allowed felons to walk out of the stores armed with guns. In Wichita, agents suggested a felon take a shotgun, saw it off and bring it back — and provided instructions on how to do it. The sawed-off gun allowed them to charge the man with a more serious crime.
There are a number of detailed reports and stories that more than back up these summaries. This is the BATF, the people who basically have ownership of all gun buyers as far as our ruling class is concerned.
If you are surprised by all this crime, corruption, and utter disrespect for both the law and for innocent people, you’re being stupid. If this organization can get away with Fast And Furious then they have learned they can get away with anything.
The BATF talks of “bad apples.” It is the bad apple—rotten to the core and an instrument of a government that is rotten also.