Operation Fearless Still Stinks

September 13, 2016

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Operation Fearless Still Stinks

Operation Fearless was an attempted entrapment of members of the American Outlaws Association in Milwaukee by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that began in July 2011 and eventually ended in chaos in September 2012.

The ATF committed six agents to the project and eventually enjoyed the cooperation and support of the FBI and the Milwaukee Police Department. The ATF opened a storefront called Fearless Distributing that offered designer clothes, jewelry, sneakers and drug paraphernalia for sale but was actually in the business of buying guns and drugs. It was one of numerous ATF “storefront operations” that included bogus stores in Portland, Boston, Pensacola, St. Louis, and Wichita.

Operation Fearless, like many ATF operations, was a farce. It never managed to entrap any Outlaws. Agents lost track of a fully automatic assault rifle and lost  $35,000 worth of store “merchandise” in a burglary. The ATF paid such high prices for guns that potential victims of the sting legally bought guns from gun stores and sold them to friendly Fearless Distributing. One entrepreneur stole three ATF guns from the store. The next day he returned and sold one of them back. One of the men agents charged with selling them drugs had an airtight alibi. He was already in prison.

When Journalism Works

John Diedrich and Raquel Rutledge of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigated the botched operation and published what they learned on January 29, 2013. You can read that first piece here.

That initial MJS article prompted angry letters to ATF Acting Director B. Todd Jones from four Congressmen and two Senators.

“This week, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on a disturbing ATF undercover operation that, similar to Operation Fast and Furious, appears to have had many problems with limited successes,” Senator Charles E. Grassley, and Congressmen Dirrell E. Issa, James Sensenbrenner, Jr. and Robert W. Goodlatte wrote. “According to the Journal Sentinel, this undercover operation began under your leadership in January 2012 when an ATF Violent Crime Impact Team opened a storefront in a Milwaukee neighborhood – a neighborhood where aggravated assaults were decreasing and homicide numbers were far fewer than other sections of Milwaukee.”

The storefront had been placed in the comparatively safe neighborhood because the operation was intended to entrap Outlaws and that comparatively safe neighborhood was frequented by Outlaws.

Inspector General

The MJS’s journalism and the political response to it, prompted an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice. You can read his complete, 112 page report titled A Review of ATF’s Undercover Storefront Operations here.

The report concluded that all the ATF’s storefront operations were characterized by “poor management, insufficient training and guidance to agents in the field, and a lax organizational culture that failed to place sufficient emphasis on risk management in these inherently sensitive operations.”

Joe Davidson of The Washington Post reported today that the ATF reacted to the report with a statement that it “acknowledges the findings made by the Inspector General.”

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21 Responses to “Operation Fearless Still Stinks”

  1. bcnasty Says:

    @Moonshine “I find it really interesting in the Journal piece that the FBI didn’t trust the ATF agents running the sting. When another federal agency doesn’t trust the ATF; can anyone trust the ATF?

    Heck you put two different snakes in a place one will eat the other.

    Respects,
    BC

  2. Phuquehed Says:

    Just more proof that the fucktards in charge of hiring for the ATF are as stupid as those they hire. Seems most ATF agents can’t find their ass with both hands.

    The DoJ and ATF – Where ‘Stupid Should Hurt’ is the catch-phrase daily.

  3. Nuke n' Pave Dave Says:

    This type of thing is such a govt. clusterfuck that it reminds me of a story from the Nixon administration. To wit: Tricky Dick gave us the LEA, the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (better known in later years as “Automatic weapons for Cops R Us”). But no-one seems to recall the LEA’s original directive as dictated by the Dick himself! They were supposed to do a psychological profile on patrolmen in metropolitan areas of 200,000 and larger. When the report was finished and came back reporting that SIXTY SOME PERCENT of those patrolmen had enough of a psychological problem that they had to strap on a gun and badge just to be able to go out and interact normally with the public, well, the report was immediately squashed! Now, these larger type of areas have the biggest budgets and can draw the cream of the crop from the “Gee mom, I wanna be a cop” pool. So what THIS tells me is that two out of three of the next cops that any among us are unfortunate enough to interact with most probably have a fucking mental problem before we ever piss ’em off enough to pull us over. Obviously the Feds are no better off than the town clowns…

  4. Nobody Important Says:

    I think it’s interesting that many of the ATF ops hinge on, or are executed against people who are mentally, ill, retarded, or brain damaged.

    Is it because everyone else sees right through these people?

  5. Elmo Blatch Says:

    Buffoons

  6. Elmo Blatch Says:

    What a bunch of buffons

  7. david Says:

    The bull-shit, Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Dept. of Injustice alleged investigation report justifies unlawful entrapment, directly in the reports intro.

    The writer states the ATF agents did not follow known DOJ rules of entrapment, never covers the unlawfulness of entrapment, and justifies the completely bull-shit existence of the so-called DOJ itself.

    The People don’t need the DOJ, or the ATF, especially not a bull-shit inspector of, even more bull-shit.

  8. Johnny Rotten Says:

    It seems…
    According to their own reports…
    They hired above the agents I.Q.s

    I bet theres alotta….
    which way did he go george????…
    huh…which way did he go????
    Heard in these ops.

    Johnny

  9. Ben Says:

    “The report concluded that all the ATF’s storefront operations were characterized by “poor management, insufficient training and guidance to agents in the field, and a lax organizational culture that failed to place sufficient emphasis on risk management in these inherently sensitive operations.”” This conclusion is shortsighted. The critique applies to the agency as a whole, not just those involved in the storefront operations. ATF’s long history of well-publicized fiascos shows that it is not deserving of our tax dollars. We don’t need it.

  10. popeye Says:

    I’d be willing to bet the ATF still considers operation fearless a huge success and handed out a handful of medals and awards to the brave atf agents.

  11. IronRider Says:

    Once again your tax dollars hard at work. I find it laughable that the ATF set up shop hoping to entrap the Outlaws members into committing a crime.

    Let’s say Hypothetically that an Outlaw member had a gun or drugs to sell. Does anyone believe that a member of the Outlaws or any MC is going to walk into a place they dont know, deal with people they dont know and try and make a sale on a weapon for more cash then what you could buy a gun for legally at a weapons dealer and think nothing of it? Fuck no, but I guess the ATF seems to think that an MC member would be all over this…sure nothing suspicious at all there.

    Once again this is another Federal Law Enforcement operation that never accomplished it’s goal which was to get an alleged outlaw MC member…any member to do a deal with them, which from all reports never happened anywhere!

    So after spending untold hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars setting this up, running its and purchasing merchandise for it shows you how the ATF is more inclined to try and setup a crime rather than investigate crimes.

    I liken these operations to the FBI and their jihadist cell busts, where it is some wanker living in mom’s basement that is angry that he doesnt get laid, lives at home and works at some crappy minimum wage job that decided to strike back against the world at the encouragement of some FBI informant who then brought in like minded jihadists who were FBI agents who did all the prodding and encouraging jihad and supplied the bomb or weapon materials and then of course busted this poor dope and crowed all over the news about what a success it was only to have the court throw it all out as entrapment after the court seeing that the so called jihadist couldnt tie his own shoes without being told to.

    Law Enforcement loves to make up some type of conspiracy to commit crimes stings because they have to justify there budget. So instead of investigating crimes they know are being perpetrated by groups which they couldnt get a sniff inside of, they decided to brainstorm some elaborate scheme they hope will get them an MC member at any cost to the taxpayer no limits or justification needed.

    Does the ATF got to the burn sites were the DEA marijuana confiscated burns are being held and hold their brainstorming sessions there? Cause it is the only plausible explanation I can come up with as to how this operation was conceived and all the funding approved only to find out it was a huge waste and they still couldn’t operate it right.

    It is shit like this that makes you shake you head at how tax dollars are pissed down the drain with no accountability insight and no measurement of whether the means justified the expense which it obviously did not. Paying more for guns then what they could be bought for legally, oh there are some geniuses running this op. No doubt someone got a commendation and a promotion I am sure.

    Maybe if ATF and other agencies focused on real criminal doing real crimes instead of what will generate a headline or look good on the 5′ o’clock news theses guys wouldnt look like they have big red noses on with floppy shoes, but if the shoes fits I guess

  12. Ziocles Says:

    Fast and furious, then this?

    When are real punishments going to come for this type of thing?

    Fucking at is such a joke

  13. Jaded Says:

    “One of the men agents charged with selling them drugs had an airtight alibi. He was already in prison.”

    Shaking my head. You just can’t make this shit up.

  14. Paladin Says:

    “Joe Davidson of The Washington Post reported today that the ATF reacted to the report with a statement that it “acknowledges the findings made by the Inspector General.”

    Noticeably absent from within the ATF’s statement is any inference that operations of this nature will be curtailed.

    Paladin

  15. Moonshine Says:

    I find it really interesting in the Journal piece that the FBI didn’t trust the ATF agents running the sting. When another federal agency doesn’t trust the ATF; can anyone trust the ATF?

  16. Base Says:

    Oh Yeah, some real hero’s.

  17. FF Says:

    @sieg

    Just seen your post, yup a retarded kid. How the fuck do you take advantage of and exploit a kid like that??? That’s just as bad as child molesting and abuse. This is the kind of garbage that joins the PD. this is the kind of garbage that plugged Diamond in the back of the head, this is the reason David Martinez right now is buried alive. SICK OF IT ALL

  18. Sieg Says:

    But wait, there’s more!

    ATF/Justice is being sued by landlords of the properties they rented to do this shit in, they fucked up the storefronts, bigtime, then split. When the owners tried to get some satisfaction, ATF threatened them. Wrong move, now they are playing with lawyers.

    The M4 that got ripped came out the trunk of an agents car while it was parked down the block from the store, and at least one, probably more, of the agents had their personal weapons ripped-off out of their cars as well.

    The main “player” in the whole thing was a retarded guy that would come in and get smokes, tee-shirts, whatever, in return for steering people to the shop.

    This was truly a classic ATF scam-absolutely one of their best, most high-quality operations.

    Oh, and in case anyone missed it, not a single member of the AOA was popped during this “investigation”.

    FTF/FTP
    TOSIAR
    SYLO

  19. T Hell Says:

    “The storefront had been placed in the comparatively safe neighborhood because the operation was intended to entrap Outlaws and that comparatively safe neighborhood was frequented by Outlaws”, Newsflash.. the neighborhood was safe because it was frequented by Outlaws.
    In the days of my mis-spent youth there was one area of the city that belonged to the local dominant, crime was low, families were safe, if you were smart you took your shit elsewhere. Once the club moved to the burbs that neighborhood went to hell at the blink of an eye, today I wouldn’t go there to take a shit. The ATF is a useless government agency that focuses on bikers because they are much more of a soft target than the one’s committing real criminal offenses.

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