The Phoenix Police Department says it needs more manpower to fight the increased number of kidnapping and home invasions in the city. But last month, Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris was reassigned due to an investigation into alleged inflated kidnapping statistics by the department. Why would police fudge those statistics? To qualify for a $1.7 million federal grant.
The ATF has recently come under heavy criticism for its reverse stings, particularly those involving guns ending up in Mexico.
So what happens? The ATF teams up with the Phoenix Police. Six ATF agents have been permanently assigned to the Phoenix police Kidnapping and Home Invasion Unit. [More...]
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The Mexican Government is requesting information about Project Gunrunner, also called "Fast and Furious", which began in Phoenix. Agents were directed to allow guns to be brought into Mexico. (You can read the English translation of its press release here.) The theory was that they could then determine where they ended up and bust the cartels. Many agents objected.
But the Mexican Government was never told about this. How many of these guns ended up killing people? ATF Agent and whistleblower John Dodson says what he was asked to do is "beyond belief."
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Update: I just accessed the court documents, now unsealed. The case was filed by the Government as USA v. Removable Cosmetic Dental Appliances. Here's the Application and Affidavit for Seizure Warrant. Here's the order granting the stay. Here's the actual seizure warrant. Scroll to the bottom of the post for my conclusion after reading the documents. The ATF agent who submitted the affidavit knew the grills might not be removable. There was no authority in the warrant to remove the defendants from the jail to take them to a dentist.
If this wasn't reported in a national paper like the the Seattle Times, I wouldn't believe it, but it's true.
A defense expert and the attorneys for two men facing federal drug charges in Tacoma are crying foul over efforts by federal prosecutors and officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to have the gold-capped teeth -- commonly called "grills" or "grillz" -- removed from their clients' mouths.
"I've been doing this for over 30 years and I have never heard of anything like this," said Richard Troberman, past president of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and an expert on forfeiture law. "It sounds like Nazi Germany when they were removing the gold teeth from the bodies, but at least then they waited until they were dead."
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