|ATF’s 5,000 employees perform the dual responsibilities of enforcing federal criminal laws and regulating the firearms and explosives industries. ATF investigates violent crimes involving firearms and explosives, acts of arson, and illegal trafficking of alcohol and tobacco products. ATF also provides training and support to its federal, state, local, and international law enforcement partners and works in 25 field divisions with representation throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. Foreign offices are located in Mexico, Canada, Colombia, and representatives in France.|
During this reporting period, the OIG received 202 complaints involving ATF. The most common allegations made against ATF employees were waste, misuse of government property, and theft. The OIG opened three cases and referred other allegations to ATF’s OPR for its review.
At the close of the reporting period, the OIG had six open criminal or administrative investigations of alleged misconduct related to ATF employees. The criminal investigations included release of information, denial of rights or due process, drug trafficking, and fraud. The administrative investigations involved serious allegations of misconduct. The following are examples of cases involving ATF that the OIG’s Investigations Division handled during this reporting period:
- An investigation by the OIG’s Dallas Field Office led to the arrest of an ATF analyst in the Northern District of Texas on charges of exceeding her authorized access to a government computer. OIG investigators determined that the analyst accessed National Crime Information Center computer records concerning her boyfriend, who was a member of the Aryan Brotherhood. In addition, the analyst released details of an imminent undercover operation to the Aryan Brotherhood target of the operation. Judicial proceedings continue.
- The OIG’s Atlanta Area Office investigated allegations that an ATF special agent in charge (SAC) misused her position and ATF resources for personal gain. Specifically, the SAC allegedly directed ATF agents to provide security for her personal friend while the friend was signing books at a local bookstore. The OIG investigation concluded that the SAC provided false statements during the OIG investigation and misused ATF resources and her position. Criminal prosecution was declined, and the SAC subsequently retired from ATF.
ATF’s Alcohol and Tobacco Diversion Program
The OIG is reviewing ATF activities that address the domestic and international diversion of alcohol and tobacco products from legitimate commerce.
ATF’s Project Gunrunner
The OIG is reviewing the effectiveness of ATF’s Project Gunrunner, an anti-firearms-trafficking initiative along the southwest border.