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Federal agents impersonated landlord in gun-sting operation

Police car emergency lighting fixtures switched on.
By Scott Davidson from United States (Police Car Lights) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Police car emergency lighting fixtures switched on. By Scott Davidson from United States (Police Car Lights) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

MILWAUKEE (WSAU-Wheeler News)  There's a report that a federal agent impersonated the owner of a Milwaukee building, in speaking to We Energies after the power was cut off. The A-T-F rented Dave Salkin's building in 2012 to run a fake storefront operation that tried to catch illegal gun buyers. The Journal Sentinel has obtained an A-T-F report on an internal probe into the bungled sting operation. It said the landlord's utility account information was improperly taken by agents -- and they used it to impersonate Salkin in a conversation with the state's largest electric utility. Salkin didn't know at the time that the tenants were federal agents. The report said he warned them several times to stop exceeding their electric usage allotment of $800-a month. The bill grew to $1,400, and the power was cut off when Salkin couldn't pay it.

It's just the latest in a series of foul-ups in the A-T-F's "Operation Fearless." The Journal Sentinel said the agency would not comment about the agents' activities, or if anyone was disciplined. Yesterday, A-T-F director Todd Jones appeared before a House committee to answer questions about problems with several storefront sting operations.

In the Milwaukee operation, the building was burglarized and numerous items were stolen -- including an agent's machine gun.

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