Several members of Congress are calling for an investigation into an embarrassing series of blunders made by the Milwaukee arm of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after a newspaper reported this week that the agency conducted a months-long undercover operation that cost taxpayers thousands of dollars and netted very few results.
“I am intent on getting to the bottom of the botched ATF sting in Milwaukee,” Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., told FoxNews.com Thursday night.
Sensenbrenner along with Sen. Charles Grassley, and Reps. Darrell Issa and Robert Goodlatte, have sent a letter to Acting ATF Director Todd Jones asking the agency to look into allegations reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The newspaper claims that the agency conducted a deeply flawed sting operation that resulted in a still-missing machine gun being taken from an agent’s car, thousands of taxpayer dollars being lost in merchandise and angry residents saying that ATF officials reintroduced crime into their neighborhood. The operation comes on the heels of the botched Operation Fast and Furious anti-gun trafficking program.
“The mismanaged operation included numerous careless and costly mistakes,” Sensenbrenner told FoxNews.com in a written statement. “Along with my colleagues, I am asking the ATF what happened in Milwaukee and who will be held accountable. I want to know how these glaring blunders could happen. How did ATF—for the second time that we know of—put guns in the hands of dangerous criminals?”
According to the newspaper, the ATF created a phony storefront, named it Fearless Distributing, staffed it with undercover agents and created a Facebook page that lured people to the location all under the guise of selling clothes and shoes. The ATF agents handed out business cards with a logo similar to the one from the movie “The Expendables” with the words “buy, sell or trade” on them. Once the store was up and running, agents spread the word that Fearless Distributing was willing to buy guns and drugs.