The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast. These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or email@example.com) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need. Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center:
The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast.
These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or firstname.lastname@example.org) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.
Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center:
Search results for "ATF agents" ...
When Republicans, Democrats, and the media agree that a series of events occurred, it must be true, right? That was the situation Katherine Eban faced when she began investigating the Fast and Furious scandal. As portrayed by congressional Republicans and conceded by a Democratic U.S. attorney general, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives had allegedly adopted a disastrous policy of intentionally allowing weapons to be illegally trafficked to Mexican drug lords. Those allegations were the basis for a major congressional investigation and a national scandal. They ultimately led to the first instance in U.S. history in which a cabinet member, Attorney General Eric Holder, was deemed in contempt of Congress (because he refused to turn over documents relating to Fast and Furious). But Eban’s reporting in “The Truth About the Fast and Furious Scandal” showed that, in fact, the ATF never had a policy to permit gun trafficking. Yes, weapons made their way to Mexico, but it occurred because of lax laws and prosecutors who interpreted those laws so strictly as to make gun seizures almost impossible. To uncover the truth, Eban combed through 2,000 pages of confidential ATF documents and interviewed 39 people, including seven agents involved in the case. In six months of exhaustive investigation, Eban persuaded the ATF agents at the heart of the case—including the leader of the team at issue, who had never spoken to the press before—to give their accounts. She then crafted a riveting narrative that exposed the hypocrisy of the political maneuverings around the business of selling and using guns. Most important, the article explained exactly why our system fails to stop weapons from being trafficked. Befitting the charged subject, Fortune’s article provoked an unprecedented wave of response on its website, national media attention, considerable fury from gun advocates—the FBI investigated threats made to Eban after the article appeared—and angry objections from figures who came in for criticism in the story. Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Charles Grassley, both leading figures in the congressional investigation, devoted a 49-page appendix to a congressional report, with an additional 140 pages of allegedly supporting documents, to try to rebut the story. And an ostensible ATF whistleblower whose allegations were challenged by Eban’s reporting filed suit against Fortune’s publisher. In the end, the best stories—and the ones that contradict a universally held view—often stir up the most anger.
A months-long Reno Gazette-Journal investigation found that after Reno’s chief U.S. Attorney told local ATF agents that her office would not prosecute their cases until certain unnamed “issues” were resolved, most of the agents transferred to new jobs outside Nevada, leaving Reno vulnerable to gun violence. The investigation found that the federal prosecutors dismissed or refused more than a dozen cases involving violent criminals. The RGJ probe also revealed that dozens of people who bought guns and later failed background checks were allowed to keep the guns because the rift emptied the Reno ATF office of the very agents who are tasked with retrieving those guns. The RGJ series led to an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and an independent review of the dropped cases. It also sparked Congressional action.
When Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was shot to death near the Arizona/Mexico border in December 2010, we quickly learned the guns found at the murder scene were linked to a controversial Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives case called Fast and Furious. Phoenix ATF agents testified in front of Congressional leaders about the flawed gun case and the strategy in which they knowingly allowed criminals to obtain deadly assault weapons. The agents admitted to watching straw buyers purchase weapons on behalf of criminals. The agents said they did nothing to stop the purchases or to track the guns in a meaningful way after they were purchased. As a result of the Fast and Furious case, approximately two thousand weapons went missing. They are presumed to be on the streets somewhere in the United States, near the border, or in Mexico. The agents' testimonies sparked a slew of Congressional hearings and a major shuffle within the leadership ranks of the ATF and other areas of the Department of Justice.
This story deals with the gun dealer that supplied John Muhammad, and Lee Boyd Malvo with the military weapon used in the sniper shootings. Law enforcement sources say Lee Boyd Malvo told investigators he shoplifted the gun from the Bulls Eye firing range. The store has no sales record, and can't produce records for scores of other missing guns. Bull's Eye's negligent operation and the government's timid enforcement of errant gun dealers contributed to the tragedy according to released documents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and numerous interviews with current and former agency employees .
Tags: sniper; Bull's Eye's firing range; Lee Boyd Malvo; John Muhammad; Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms; gun supplier; ATF; ATF National Tracing Center; Bulls Eye Shooter Supply; Pacific Shooters Supply; 1968 Gun Control Act; Federal Firearms License; National Rifle Association