2 years, 5 months ago
Todd Jones, the acting director of the ATF, says trying to manage the organization is testing all of his skills.
Jones has replaced six out of his eight top assistant directors at Washington headquarters. And he says he’s tried to promote a new generation of leaders all over the country, including ground zero for the Fast and Furious scandal, along the Southwest border.
“Sixteen out of our 25 field divisions have new special agents in charge,” he said. “It’s really been a historic transformation, and it’s really been an opportunity for us to … cherry pick our best and brightest.”
But five ATF managers in Washington and Arizona, who were blasted by House Republicans in their report on Fast and Furious, still work in the federal government.
That seemed to rankle Fox News host Megyn Kelly and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif.
“Of these five guys who you point to who are responsible for this at ATF, no one’s been fired,” Kelly said on her program this week. “They’re still on the federal taxpayer dime. And the head guy, Ken Melson, he’s working for DOJ right now. Are the taxpayers still paying all these folks and why?”
Issa replied: “They are still paying all these folks. We are concerned that there has been no real repercussions.”
To which Jones says, just wait.
“On this issue of folks who are identified in the House report that are still with ATF, well there’s this little concept called due process,” Jones told NPR. “And until we get a factual report and a complete record from the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General, which is our normal process, and make the referral to our internal affairs division, then there are rights that employees have.”
Acting Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Director B. Todd Jones has failed to acknowledge overtures by the confidential informant at the heart of Operation Wide Receiver to give him detailed information about the failed gun smuggling investigation, Gun Rights Examiner learned over the weekend. Firearms dealer Mike Detty, who sold about 450 guns to straw purchasers under the assurances of his ATF handlers that they would be under surveillance, attempted to give Jones operational information both in person and by letter earlier this year, only to be ignored.
“I met him in the Sig booth at SHOT this year,” Detty told this correspondent. “I asked one of his people if he had time to say hello to another former Marine. He came over with a big smile and shook hands. I handed him a business card and told him, ‘If you’re serious about getting to the bottom of the gunwalking scandal you’ll need to start at the beginning–that’s me and Operation Wide Receiver.’
“He nodded and said he’d be in touch,” Detty continued. “Several weeks later I sent him a letter with my contact info and offer to help. Nothing.”
Gun Rights Examiner has obtained a copy of that letter, written on February 27, as well as the certified domestic mail return receipt, providing proof of delivery on March 5.
“There are currently something like 30 people serving prison sentences because of my involvement to help end illegal gun trafficking to Mexico,” Detty informed Jones, giving him a means of validating his credibility with an easily verifiable claim. “Not one case has gone to trial because of the overwhelming and indisputable documentation of these transactions–often videotaped in the living room of my home.”
“Operation Wide Receiver accounted for 450 guns being lost across the border but there were two other major cases that I brought to ATF that accounted for at least another 200 guns that are now in cartel hands,” Detty related. “As a CI it was not my place to question ATF’s motives or demand a detailed plan of action. I had assumed that my efforts would truly be used to help take down a powerful cartel.”
“If you’re sincere in wanting to get to the bottom of the gunwalking scandal then you’ll need to start at the beginning and that is me and Operation Wide Receiver,” Detty advised Jones. “Throughout my time as a CI, I kept meticulous notes–some 600 pages worth. In fact, it was my journal that raised the ire of SAC Newell. Once he learned of my documentation he ordered the field agents not to accept any new cases from me. He knew immediately that my records, irrefutable and unimpeachable, would prove troublesome for him at some point in the future.”
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“Whoever said he was a placeholder is correct,” Detty has sadly concluded in a private correspondence to Gun Rights Examiner. “He doesn’t care a bit about changing anything at ATF.”
Meet the new boss … same as the old boss. Don’t rename it, just get to the bottom of the illegalities and then get rid of the damn organization.