Ron Johnson wants answers to stolen ATF guns, firearms parts

ATF Agent (Photo: David Rae Morris for the United States)

Hundreds of firearms and guns have been stolen from the federal agency tasked with enforcing a gun, which encourages a massive search of arms and demands for replies from U. Ron Johnson.

A former security guard working for the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is responsible for stealing the guns and firearms parts from an ATF facility in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

This week, Johnson He wrote a letter to ATF's Deputy Director, Thomas Brandon, with a series of questions on the theft, asking how many weapons were stolen, who was involved, if the guns and parts in crimes were used, if they were recovered and people other. Johnson, R-Wis., Chairs the Committee on Country Security and Government Affairs. Mr Gary Peters, D-Mich, signed the committee member.

U. Ron Johnson, R-Wis. (Photo: Todd Ponath, Photo Team with Todd Ponath)

They asked for answers from ATF by March 26.

The letter states that the theft at an ATF facility was Martinsburg, which deals with the destruction of weapons no longer required by ATF. The facility received an influx of guns and parts after the agency changed its standard-standard services.

The ATF lost about 600 gun parts worth $ 70,000, according to Johnson and Peters, who cited "certain sources" and news accounts. ATF refused to say how many guns and stolen parts.

The case is similar to a series of failures and carelessness in ATF facial operations in Milwaukee and throughout the country, documented in investigation of Iris Sentinel. These operations involved criminals selling guns and drugs but had problems including: t

Chauncey Wright worked on unconscious ATF agents. (Photo: Family photo) t

ATF guns were stolen, machine gun included, and the weapon was not fully recovered.

Agents used a mentally handicapped man to promote the operation and then seized it. The shopfront was made to be burglarized and damaged to the building, leaving outstanding bills to the landlord.

Agents overpaid for guns, some purchased on the same day from retailers.

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Dave Salkin left his building in Milwaukee renting unnecessarily to ATF agents, who were running sting out of it. It is pictured here in 2013 showing damage to its building. (Photo: Michael Sears, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

In this case, Christopher Yates, a security guard contract for the ATF in West Virginia, was mentioned in relation to the weapons and missing parts, the Journal newspaper in West Virginia reported earlier this month.

A search of a Yates vehicle pistols registered in army archives were retired by the government in 2017, according to court documents. In an interview with ATF agents late last month, Yates allegedly admitted some of the stolen property transferred to an unknown person of Maryland.

Yates attorney, Nicholas J. Compton, refused to comment on Wednesday.

ATF spokesman April Langwell said theft involved a "substantial" firearm and ammunition, including slides and barrels from retired ATF service weapons, but would not specify how many or where investigators believe they are finished. Outside the LCA, the subjects are largely unregulated and are available to purchase online without a background check.

News CBS reported the search for the missing weapons.

Langwell said that the parts were probably sold to people who did not know they had been stolen. She said the ATF learned the theft first when a local law enforcement agency asked the ATF to track her gun which she had recovered.

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"ATF has made significant progress in getting the stolen property back and is working for an hour to pursue every result," the agency said in a statement.

Before the failures in the operations on the side of the stores, the ATF was scrutinizing to allow more than 2,000 weapons to enter Mexico as part of another operation that was under pressure. One of the weapons was found at the presence of the fatal Border Patrol agent, Brian Terry.

USA Today contributed to this report. Contact John Diedrich at (414) 224-2408 or jdiedrich@journalsentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter at @john_diedrich, Instagram at @john_diedrich, LinkedIn or Facebook.

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