Old Trooper and Jeremy sent us a link to the story about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and their Keystone Cops-style sting operation in Milwaukee, where they tried to take weapons and drugs off the mean streets with a storefront operation that was burglarized by locals, the agents skipped on the rent and plugged the toilet, and left $15,000 damage to the property in their wake while having negligible effect on the neighborhood’s crime profile;
[I]t resulted in a string of mistakes and failures, including an ATF military-style machine gun landing on the streets of Milwaukee and the agency having $35,000 in merchandise stolen from its store, a Journal Sentinel investigation has found.
When the 10-month operation was shut down after the burglary, agents and Milwaukee police officers who participated in the sting cleared out the store but left behind a sensitive document that listed names, vehicles and phone numbers of undercover agents.
And the agency remains locked in a battle with the building’s owner, who says he is owed about $15,000 because of utility bills, holes in the walls, broken doors and damage from an overflowing toilet.
The sting resulted in charges being filed against about 30 people, most for low-level drug sales and gun possession counts. But agents had the wrong person in at least three cases. In one, they charged a man who was in prison – as a result of an earlier ATF case – at the time agents said he was selling drugs to them.
It’s a long article and you really should click over and read the whole thing to get a sense of the incompetence – but you can bet that if their mission was to get legally-owned guns from law abiding citizens, the operation would have been flawlessly executed and they’d still be clapping each other on the back instead of skipping out on their obligations to the private property owner. Yeah, there was a simple reason that the toilet was plugged.