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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The A.T.F. “Misplaced” 420 Million Cigarettes and “Misused” $162 Million

Recent audit exposes massive hypocrisy and corruption at the ATF

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
By JG Vibes
As the “government shutdown” fear mongering is parroted by the mainstream media, many people are actually stopping to question the necessity of all these senseless and expensive bureaucracies. 
The ATF is a perfect example of one of these organizations.  This is a government agency that exists to punish people for buying, selling and even possessing legal items, but in ways that fall outside of the governments very specific and very oppressive guidelines.
Recently the ATF was faced with an audit and it was discovered that they “lost” over 420 million cigarettes and $162 million.
According to Fox News Government agents acting without authorization conducted dozens of undercover investigations of illegal tobacco sales, misused some of $162 million in profits from the stings and lost track of at least 420 million cigarettes, the Justice Department’s inspector general said Wednesday.
In one case, agents for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sold $15 million in cigarettes and later turned over $4.9 million in profits from the sales to a confidential informant — even though the agency did not properly account for the transaction.[1]
“ATF’s guidance regarding churning investigations lacked breadth and specificity, and managers at ATF headquarters as well as managers and special agents at ATF field offices often disregarded it,” Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz wrote in the 53-page audit.
An ATF spokeswoman disputed the inspector general’s 2.1 million carton tally for cigarettes that could not be accounted for during the inquiry. “In contrast to the OIG auditors’ numbers, ATF’s reconstructive inventory showed only 447,218 cartons that were not reconciled because of insufficient documentation,” said ATF spokeswoman Ginger Colbrun.[2]
Yet Colbrun did not deny that there was a large amount of cash and cigarettes missing.
“This is becoming the new organized crime, the new Prohibition,” said ATF agent Rich Marianos. “Every day we see more and more criminal organizations utilizing illegal cigarettes to facilitate their operations.”[3]
Ironically this ATF agent was speaking of people who buy and sell cigarettes, not the criminal organization that he works for.

[1] US: ATF misplaced 420 million cigarettes in stings – Yahoo
[2] US: ATF misplaced 420 million cigarettes in stings - Fox
[3] ATF “lost track” of 420 million cigarettes, watchdog says – CBS
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