More F Troopery: "Loss of agent's testimony cited in ATF case dismissals."
Two more cases from the ATF's troubled gun-buying sting in Milwaukee have been dismissed, this time because the prosecutor says she can't use the operation's lead agent as a witness.Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Karen Loebel said in court Fridaythat she could not call U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent Jacqueline Sutton to testify — the latest setback for an operation riddled with problems exposed bya Journal Sentinel investigation.Loebel, who has dropped eight of the 18 cases she charged from the 2012 sting, said she was not allowed to disclose why Sutton could not take the stand because of "the manner in which I received the information."Top agency officials launched a probe into the actions of ATF agents in the sting, after the Journal Sentinel exposed numerous shortcomings of what was called "Operation Fearless."Among the Journal Sentinel findings: Agents hired a brain-damaged man to promote the store and set up drug and gun deals, then arrested him on federal counts; three government-owned guns, including a machine gun, were stolen; and the undercover storefront was ripped off of $40,000 in merchandise.The machine gun remains missing, Milwaukee police said Tuesday.
But here's the clue that this was really FUBARed:
Sutton, the agent in charge of the operation in Milwaukee, was transferred over the summer to ATF headquarters in Washington, D.C., according to sources with knowledge of the move.
She got transferred to where the anti-gun killer clowns of the Chief Counsels Office (like Little Jimmy Vann) can keep a close eye on her and coach any necessary perjuries from her if required.
The defense attorneys in the case immediately smelled the rat:
Loebel's latest dismissals means none of the cases to arise out of Operation Fearless — in either state or federal court — will go to trial.Attorney Russell Jones, who represented a man charged with selling cocaine to the agents before the counts were dismissed, said he suspects the government wanted to avoid a trial and the risk of more embarrassing details coming out."The DA played a game of chicken," Jones said. "I don't think they ever intended to take this case, or any of these cases, to trial."
So who got stung in the great Milwaukee sting? I am reminded of Walter Brennan in To Have and Have Not: "Ever been bit by a dead bee?" "Operation Fearless" is long dead, but it keeps stinging the ATF. The only question is, Darrell Issa, where are the ATF Oversight Hearings we were promised to come after Fast and Furious?