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NEWS
October 5, 2011 | By Richard A. Serrano
Two top supervisors at ATF headquarters in Washington -- the deputy director and the assistant director for all field operations -- have been reassigned as the beleaguered agency attempts to remake itself amid the fallout from a failed gun-tracking operation along the Southwest border called Fast and Furious, according to two sources briefed on the changes. William J. Hoover, the No. 2 man at ATF, will become special agent-in-charge of the agency's Washington field office, while Mark Chait, who ran all of the field investigations around the country, is being reassigned as head of the Baltimore field office.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez
Carlos Canino cut his teeth as an undercover agent in Los Angeles, in an era when violent crime was hitting record highs. It was the summer of 1991, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had transferred Canino to the Los Angeles office. The city was nearing 1,000 reported homicides, many of them fueled by street gangs battling for control of lucrative drug turf. Canino was detailed to a violent-crime task force, where he worked undercover with other ATF agents and Los Angeles Police Department officers targeting gang members in the Westlake and Pico-Union neighborhoods west of the downtown skyline.
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NATIONAL
July 11, 2013 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to approve B. Todd Jones as director of the ATF, but questions about his management style coupled with opposition by the powerful gun lobby could endanger his chances to clear the full Senate next week. Those obstacles surfaced during committee debate. The panel approved him on a strict party-line vote of 10 to 8, and the panel's leading Republican, Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, said two ongoing investigations into Jones' tenure as the U.S. attorney in Minnesota needed further review before he should be considered competent to run the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
NATIONAL
March 2, 2014 | Lalita Clozel
Federal Prohibition agent Eliot Ness' legendary campaign against Chicago mob boss Al Capone inspired the 1960s TV series "The Untouchables," a blockbuster Hollywood movie, countless books and perhaps even the comic-strip hero Dick Tracy. But a recent move in the Senate to name the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' glassy new Washington headquarters after the 1930s lawman has sparked an acrimonious debate over whether the storied crime fighter really deserves the honor.
NEWS
July 30, 2012 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON -- Republican congressional investigators have concluded that five senior ATF officials -- from the special agent-in-charge of the Phoenix field office to the top man in the bureau's Washington headquarters -- are collectively responsible for the failed Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation that was “marred by missteps, poor judgments and inherently reckless strategy.” The investigators, in a final report likely to be released later...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 15, 2008 | From Staff and Wire Reports
Rex D. Davis, 83, a former director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms who presided over ATF's transition into an independent bureau, died Jan. 7 at a hospital in Bethesda, Md., of complications from a colon infection, the Washington Post reported. Davis joined what is now the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in 1949. He became a "revenuer" -- staking out moonshiners in the woods at night, raiding stills and smashing barrels of moonshine with an ax. He became director of the ATF in 1970.
NATIONAL
July 5, 2013 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - A high-powered rifle lost in the ATF's Fast and Furious controversy was used to kill a Mexican police chief in the state of Jalisco earlier this year, according to internal Department of Justice records, suggesting that weapons from the failed gun-tracking operation have now made it into the hands of violent drug cartels deep inside Mexico. Luis Lucio Rosales Astorga, the police chief in the city of Hostotipaquillo, was shot to death Jan. 29 when gunmen intercepted his patrol car and opened fire.
NATIONAL
August 30, 2011 | By Richard A. Serrano, Washington Bureau
Justice Department officials have removed the head of the beleaguered ATF and the U.S. attorney in Phoenix - an attempt to provide a fresh start for the agency whose employees had expressed a lack of confidence in their leadership since the Operation Fast and Furious gun-tracking scandal. But the moves did not satisfy congressional Republicans, who vowed to ratchet up their investigation of the failed program that sent hundreds of guns to Mexican drug cartels. They are preparing for a new round of hearings into who was involved at other law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Justice Department.
NATIONAL
June 11, 2013 | By Richard A. Serrano, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, who took over the agency in its meltdown with the Fast and Furious gun-tracking scandal, ran into opposition Tuesday when he appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration as permanent director. Disturbed by allegations that B. Todd Jones had mismanaged his other current role as the U.S. attorney in Minnesota, Republicans said they hoped to block or delay his appointment until an internal investigation into his leadership of that office could be completed.
NEWS
July 31, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
WASHINGTON - B. Todd Jones is on the cusp of becoming the first Senate-confirmed director of the ATF on Thursday, after a fierce lobbying effort successfully swayed a single Republican lawmaker to change her vote. Democrats had expected a close result, but nonetheless were confident they had the votes to ultimately end a Republican filibuster of Jones' nomination to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when they decided to bring it to the Senate floor this week.
OPINION
December 15, 2013 | By Richard Feldman and Arkadi Gerney
A year ago, in the days after 20 schoolchildren and six adults were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., it seemed for a moment that something had changed in America's long-running cultural debate on guns. A new kind of national conversation - even some consensus - seemed possible. But that was then. Today the voices on both sides of the gun policy debate are back to being as shrill as ever. Still, behind the heated rhetoric, there are areas of agreement.
NEWS
August 29, 2013 | By Richard A. Serrano and Alexei Koseff
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration announced Thursday that it would close loopholes in the rules on acquiring machine guns and other dangerous weapons and ban U.S. military-style firearms sent overseas from returning to this country. The announcement of the new executive actions came as Vice President Joe Biden administered the oath of office to the new head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the first Senate-confirmed director in the agency's history.
NATIONAL
August 29, 2013 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration said Thursday it had closed a loophole in the gun laws that allowed the acquisition of machine guns and other weapons and had banned U.S. military-style firearms that were sent overseas from returning to this country. The announcement of the two executive actions came as Vice President Joe Biden swore in the new head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Biden pledged that the White House would not give up its effort for more gun control since the shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school last year.
NEWS
July 31, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
WASHINGTON - B. Todd Jones is on the cusp of becoming the first Senate-confirmed director of the ATF on Thursday, after a fierce lobbying effort successfully swayed a single Republican lawmaker to change her vote. Democrats had expected a close result, but nonetheless were confident they had the votes to ultimately end a Republican filibuster of Jones' nomination to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when they decided to bring it to the Senate floor this week.
WORLD
July 31, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
Lax U.S. gun regulations are enabling the international trafficking of high-powered weapons and fueling the spread of gun violence in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Council on Foreign Relations argues in a report urging President Obama to take action on initiatives that have foundered in Congress. More than 70% of the 99,000 weapons recovered by Mexican law enforcement since 2007 were traced to U.S. manufacturers and importers, the council report said, citing data from the eTrace program of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
NATIONAL
July 11, 2013 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to approve B. Todd Jones as director of the ATF, but questions about his management style coupled with opposition by the powerful gun lobby could endanger his chances to clear the full Senate next week. Those obstacles surfaced during committee debate. The panel approved him on a strict party-line vote of 10 to 8, and the panel's leading Republican, Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, said two ongoing investigations into Jones' tenure as the U.S. attorney in Minnesota needed further review before he should be considered competent to run the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
NATIONAL
July 19, 2011 | By Richard A. Serrano, Washington Bureau
The Justice Department is trying to protect its political appointees from the Fast and Furious scandal by concealing an internal "smoking gun" report and other documents that acknowledge the role top officials played in the program that allowed firearms to flow illegally into Mexico, according to the head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Kenneth E. Melson, the ATF's acting director, also told congressional investigators this month that the affidavits prepared to obtain wiretaps used in the ill-fated operation were inconsistent with Justice Department officials' public statements about the program.
NATIONAL
March 10, 2011 | By Kim Murphy and Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times
Lawmakers in Mexico are demanding an investigation into a U.S. law enforcement operation that allowed hundreds of weapons to flow into the hands of Mexican drug cartels amid claims from a ranking legislator that at least 150 Mexicans have been killed or wounded by guns trafficked by smugglers under the watch of U.S. agents. U.S. authorities say manpower shortages and the high number of weapons sold resulted in their losing track of hundreds of guns, from pistols to .50-caliber sniper rifles, though a federal agent deeply involved in the Phoenix-based operation said it was "impossible" that U.S. authorities did not know the weapons were headed for Mexico.
NATIONAL
July 5, 2013 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - A high-powered rifle lost in the ATF's Fast and Furious controversy was used to kill a Mexican police chief in the state of Jalisco earlier this year, according to internal Department of Justice records, suggesting that weapons from the failed gun-tracking operation have now made it into the hands of violent drug cartels deep inside Mexico. Luis Lucio Rosales Astorga, the police chief in the city of Hostotipaquillo, was shot to death Jan. 29 when gunmen intercepted his patrol car and opened fire.
NEWS
June 11, 2013 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - B. Todd Jones, the acting director of the ATF who took over the agency in its meltdown with the Fast and Furious scandal, ran into immediate opposition Tuesday as he appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration as permanent director. Republicans sought to block or delay the appointment until an internal investigation can be completed of Jones' performance as the U.S. attorney in Minnesota. Indeed, since Jones was nominated late last year to head the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, his chances of success have been difficult to gauge.
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