Townhall’s Katie Pavlich reminds us of the old joke about how the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms should be a convenience store not a federal agency. However, the latest ATF whopper in Wisconsin proves they aren't even capable of doing that properly.
A store calling itself Fearless Distributing opened early last year on an out-of-the-way street in Milwaukee's Riverwest neighborhood, offering designer clothes, athletic shoes, jewelry and drug paraphernalia.
Those working behind the counter, however, weren't interested in selling anything.
They were undercover agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms running a storefront sting aimed at busting criminal operations in the city by purchasing drugs and guns from felons.
Instead of busting any major dealers or taking down a gang it resulted in a string of mistakes and failures, including an ATF military-style machine gun landing on the streets of Milwaukee.
Also, the agency had $35,000 in merchandise stolen from its store.
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.