Federal authorities are under fire for a botched 10-month undercover storefront operation in the Milwaukee are that used a local man with a low IQ to set up their gun and drug deals and then turned on him, charging him with crimes that could send him to prison for the rest of his life, the Journal Sentinel reported.
The report says agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives convinced Chauncey Wright to help them in their “Fearless Distributing” sting by paying him in cigarettes, merchandise and money to ride his bike around town and hand out fliers recommending the fake storefront to friends, family and strangers.
Wright, 28, thought he was helping promote the store that stocked its shelves with shoes, clothing, drug paraphernalia and auto parts, according to his family. But once authorities shut down the operation, they came after him, charging him with federal gun and drug counts. He’s currently in the Waukesha County Jail. His attorney, Joseph Bugni, declined a request by the newspaper to interview him.
The agency conducted a deeply flawed sting operation that resulted in a still-missing machine gun being taken from an agent’s car, thousands of taxpayer dollars being lost in merchandise and angry residents saying that ATF officials reintroduced crime into their neighborhood, the Journal Sentinel reported. The operation comes on the heels of the botched Operation Fast and Furious anti-gun trafficking program.