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Friday, December 27, 2013

ATF and Their Horrifying Criminal Acts - Pt. 2: Milwaukee

A tale of 7 cities - a tragic poetic on how to describe how the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) ran rogue sting operations all over the country. An enforcement wing of the [so-called] Department of Justice, the government agency's crimes included:

- Using teenagers and mentally disabled people as stooges, then arresting them on bogus charges.

- Encouraging people to commit crimes and bring them weapons and drugs.

- Allowing KNOWN violent felons to walk away with deadly weapons.

- Allowing govt.-owned assault weapons to be stolen from police vehicles (never recovered).

- False arrests of innocent (or at least the wrong) people.

- Damaging and/or destroying the property they've rented and refusing to reimburse owners/landlords. 

- Creating, encouraging, and facilitating crime (including burglary) in safe zones and near schools, possibly putting children in harms' way.

- Basically, creating crime waves in neighborhoods where none existed prior. Ensnaring otherwise harmless citizens. And letting dangerous criminals get away scot free.


The case of Portland, OR was the focus of the previous post. In that case, in 2010 rogue ATF pigs rented out a storefront within 1000 feet of a middle school, lured in teens, conned them into getting tattoos to "promote" the phony business they set up, arrested said teens months later, and pretty much destroyed the commercial unit they leased under false pretenses, before taking off. 

Now we will take that focus to Milwaukee. As a pivotal and shocking report published in January 2013 by the Journal Sentinel shows, the crooked ATF have been pulling these sorts of dirty tricks in cities all over the country!  


In January 2012 a citizen named David Salkin rented commercial space he owned to individuals looking to sell clothing. They soon opened a store called "Fearless Distributing", selling so-called designer cloths, jewelry, athletic shoes, and drug paraphernalia. The people who ran the business were really ATF thugs - Salkin did not know this. ATF were running a sting called "operation Fearless" [apparently] meant to buy drugs and guns and arrest the "dangerous" criminals who sold them. This did not happen. Instead, the fake clothing store was burglarized in Oct. 2012, forcing the operation to shut down after ten months - with very little to show for it (ATF re-wired the building, disabling the alarm system in the process).

It gets worse... or more hilarious, depending on one's point of view. A military-style assault weapon was stolen from an ATF official vehicle! Actually, three govt.-owned guns had been stolen from an ATF vehicle during the sting. Two of the weapons have yet to be recovered, to date. Also - A ballistic shield (typically used in high-risk situations) was stolen from an ATF vehicle, which has since been turned in to a Milwaukee district police station by an anonymous citizen. This happened on the same day the store burglary was first discovered.

ATF and Milwaukee police who took part in the sting cleared out when the 10-month operation ended after the burglary. However, sloppy as they were in Portland, OR ATF left behind not only property damage, but sensitive documents listing the names, vehicles, and personal phone numbers of undercover agents. DOH! Salkin is currently in litigation with the agency, claiming they owe him $15,000 in utility bills, holes in walls, busted doors, and water damage from an over-flowing toilet (good luck getting his money, but at least this citizen is putting up a fight!). And if this were not fucked up enough, ATF even THREATENED Salkin for daring to contact the agency and asking to be paid for damages!!! This goes to show the sheer criminal thuggery of the ATF!

The sting did result in the arrest of 34 people, mostly pissant low/no-level drug and gun possession. Of this, 16 ended up with NO jail time. NO big-time dealers were taken down, no dangerous gang members, not a single mastermind. Only crumbs. And even then, in several of those cases, some of the WRONG people had been charged!

Not only that, but the sting runners were paying such overtly high prices for guns, that people who typically didn't deal in guns at all would buy them LEGALLY from area stores, then turn around and sell them to the ATF front for a profit! You can't make this shit up!

Business owner David Salkin shows off the destroyed door to the commercial space he unwittingly rented to ATF in 2012. The business was broken into, resulting in $35,000 worth of merchandise stolen and putting an end to the ATF sting. Salkin was threatened by ATF when he had the nerve to ask that the agency reimburse him.
David Salkin unknowingly rented his building at 1220 E. Meinecke Ave. to the ATF, which ran an undercover sting. Burglars broke into the business, ending the operation. Salkin says the ATF owes him $15,000 for damage and unpaid utility bills. The agency has refused to pay.

ATF agents didn't want to use the building's phone system and internet, for some reason. So they re-wired the building and disabled the alarm system, rendering the building helpless when it was burglarized in Oct. 2012.
Photographs of building damage and owner by Dave Salkin who unknowingly rented his building at 1220 East Meinecke Ave. to the ATF. The ATF did not want use the buildings phone system or internet, therefore the alarm system was down during a break-in.


 The botched and utterly fucked-up Milwaukee operation ended with the phony storefront being robbed, tens of thousands worth of merchandise stolen, tens of thousands in damage to the building (caused by ATF pigs), govt.-owned weapons stolen, and 34 measly arrests for either drug or weapons possession mostly. 145 guns were recovered, BUT, some of those weapons were bought directly from local stores such as sporting retailer Gander Mountain. This happened because ATF were paying as much as twice the market rate for guns. You might expect such a level of incompetence and sheer buffoonery from local police, not govt. salaried law enforcement [necessarily]. Yet, here you have it. However, as laughable as this all is, there are several very real horror stories involved here.  


Several of the people arrested were innocent. One suffers from brain damage.
Chauncey Wright was 28 when he was first "marked" by ATF in 2012. Wright suffers from brain damage stemming from an accident where as an infant, he nearly drowned in a bath tub. and has an I.Q. tested to be in the 54 - rendering him mildly retarded for an adult. He was living with his girlfriend, Terri Giles, during this time. Agents had him ride his bike around town handing out flyers for the "Fearless Distribution" store. They also had him doing "odd jobs" within the store. His was paid in cash, cigarettes, and cheap junk from the store. When ATF shut down the sting in Oct. 2012 (following the burglary), they charged Wright with 7 federal counts. The charges carry a maximum of life in prison. However, after a mental health evaluation, fed. prosecutors agreed to terms of probation. Wright was set for sentencing in June 2013. Wright was eventually sentenced to six months house arrest and four years probation.
 His grandmother, Willie Campbell, tried to warn her grandson against whom she saw as suspicious characters. She knew that he was "slow" and would not be able to catch on to what they (ATF agents) were up to. Sadly, Wright was convinced that the store workers were his "friends" and that they "looked out" for him.
Chauncey Wright, seen here during the time he "worked" for Fearless Distributing.
 Chauncey Wright around the time he unknowingly worked for ATF agents.

“With him being slow, they knew that and they used him. He was too slow to catch on to what was going on. He was saying, ‘These are my good friends. These are my guys. They are looking out for me.’”- Willie Campbell, Chauncey Wright’s grandmother.

Wright's court-appointed attorney had to read the charges to him in court because Wright reads on a kindergartener level... one of the "masterminds" ATF managed to capture in the wake of their botched scheme. The storefront itself looked like a ruse right away to many people, including Wright's grandmother who drove by the warehouse-like building located on a dead-end street. ATF pigs posing and promoting the store would hand out flyers in a Wal-Mart parting lot, using a logo which was a direct rip-off from a well-known recent action movie. When they "hired" people, no formal application process was ever used. The store had gun catalogs on it's front counter - a bit out of place for a store that sold cheap cloths, shoes, cigarettes, and bongs. They never sold guns, but were eager to buy guns - which was no doubt a dead give-a-way to many people. As one can easily see, this was the reason the sting failed to net any major criminals... all they got were drug addicts, pissant thieves, retarded people, and law-abiding citizens who were simply desperate for money.

It ought to be out-right CRIMINAL to take advantage of and exploit someone who basically has the mental capacity of a child. Yet, this is exactly what agents did to Chauncey Wright. He was simply looking for work, and ended up being federally indicted instead. The ATF pigs who hoodwinked him are no doubt sleeping soundly at night - they continue to be protected by anonymity, and that they ruined the lives of innocent people and netted virtually ZERO gain from a phenomenally fucked clown-shoes operation certainly doesn't bother any of these pigs one bit!

The building ATF agents in Milwaukee used for their cluster-fuck of a sting from Jan. to Oct. 2012. Burglars easily broke through a single door, making off with $35K in merch. Agents disabled the alarm system when they re-wired the building for personal use.
In the back of the building, guarded by a fence on a driveway leading to a exterior courtyard area, the ATF would load and unload goods and gear sheltered from view of the street.

Known criminals ADMIT to burglarizing ATF storefront, as well as selling guns to agents. Charged with possession of stolen property, but never burglary.

ATF pigs who ran the Milwaukee operation were soo thoughtlessly lazy and sorry-ass, that the 'logo' they used for their fake storefront, "Fearless Distro", was a direct rip-off from the "Expendables" film!

Courvoisie Bryant, 33, was an unemployed barber with no criminal record when he first walked into Fearless Distributing. It was the worse mistake he had even made. 

Courvoisie Bryant, seen here.

Word had gotten out that the [clothing] store was not only offering to buy guns, but were offering to pay far above market prices for them. Bryant did not question this, he needed the money. So he bought several guns from Gander Mountain, a local sporting goods store. he then turned around and sold the guns at the ATF store, which paid him far more than what the weapons cost at the legitimate store. In one case, Bryant bought a $700 rifle from the Gander store, and hours later took it to Fearless Distro. where undercover agents paid him $2,000 for it! To be perfectly clear, NONE of what Bryant did was illegal itself. However, his cousin, a felon, was along with him during these trips. THIS is what put Bryant in the crosshairs of the ATF.

Facing many years in prison initially, Bryant was eventually sentenced to probation in a Milwaukee courtroom on Tuesday Dec. 10th 2013. He was the last of the defendants sentenced who were ensnared in the horribly botched sting. Even the fed. prosecutor agreed with Bryant's lawyer that he should not go to prison simply for buying guns LEGALLY, then taking them to the phony ATF store for a quick profit.

"What they did was manufacture a crime and created a criminal," Joshua Uller, Bryant's attorney, said after Tuesday's sentencing. "The government provided a significant financial incentive to commit this crime."


In September 2012 three guns, including a fully automatic M-4 .223 Caliber machine rifle, were stolen from an official ATF SUV. The Ford Explorer was parked outside a coffee and doughnut shop, about half a block from the Fearless Distro. set-up. Four men were soon taken into custody, one of whom admitted to holding one of the guns. Another witness claimed to have seen one of the guns stashed under a bed at a residence. Shortly afterwards, that residence was raided and stolen ammunition was recovered... but no guns. As of the last days of December 2013, two of the weapons - including the M-4 machine gun - have NOT been recovered. Not only that, but none of the four men initially arrested for the theft have been charged.
M-4 .223 fully automatic assault rifle
Bobby Ball, 32, is one of the very few people arrested that might actually qualify as a dangerous criminal. On July 11th 2012, Ball walked into the Fearless Distro. storefront and sold five grams of heroin to undercover agents for $1,000. Two days later, he went back and sold them marijuana. He also showed agents the gun he had - a Taurus .38 Caliber revolver. Ball threatened to "shoot someone" who was apparently involved in an alleged shooting of his cousin. Agents offered to buy the gun, but Ball refused. He said he would return later to sell it, but never did. After the drug sell Ball walked out of the store, yet agents failed to arrest him, nor did they take the gun. Ball was arrested four months later in Minnesota on a DUI charge. Apparently Ball never did carry out that plan to avenge his cousin, though it remains unclear whether the gun he possessed was ever recovered.  
Bobby Ball
Having a criminal history significantly worse than any of the other 30+ people arrested, including aggravated assault, multiple counts of armed robbery, and firing a gun at someone (sounds like an ex-cop),  Ball was sentenced in August 2013 to 12 years in prison after having plead guilty to selling drugs to undercover agents. This was the largest sentence of anyone arrested due to the sting.
Here is the final tally from "Operation Fearless":
34 people were arrested.
6 of those arrests resulted in cased dropped.
4 of the wrong people were charged.
1 person charged was already in prison at the time.
2 people had charges against them dropped the same day they were filed.
17 of the 34 initially arrested resulted in convictions.
Only some of those 17 convictions resulted in any jail time at all.
The average median amount of time received was little more than one year per conviction.
Many convicted got probation.
Most cases involved minor drug and gun possession.
Most of the 34 arrested have either a non-violent history or no criminal record.
145 guns were seized. Many of those guns were bought directly from local stores and were never used - much less used in any crimes.
The ATF created and facilitated an illegal market for guns were none had existed before.
The ATF set-up, entrapped, and exploited a mentally disabled man only to arrest him on federal charges.
The ATF allowed a known violent felon to walk right out of their store knowing he had a weapon, even after he threatened to shoot someone in revenge.
The ATF allowed 3 govt.-owned weapons and a ballistic shield to be stolen. Two weapons, including a fully auto assault rifle, have yet to be recovered.
The ATF allowed the building they rented to be burglarized, losing nearly $40K in merchandise.
The ATF pretty much destroyed the building they rented, then threatened the owner when he asked to be reimbursed for damages.
The ATF ruined the lives of several innocent people.
The ATF buffoons who conducted "Operation Fearless Clown shoes" remain protected by anonymity to this day, despite having left behind several sensitive documents when they aborted their sting in Oct. 2012. Despite their numerous criminal acts, no ATF agent has lost his job, much less been indicted to date. Most of the real "bad guys" were careful enough to have stayed far away from the storefront, which was rife with red flags from the start. People who were either completely innocent or otherwise, no one to worry about, were ground up in the matrix.

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