The ATF continues to struggle in the aftermath of its moronic Fast and Furious operation where they allowed powerful weapons to walk into the hands of gangs. One of those guns led to the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent. However, in true lunacy, a more recent operation would seem to demand similar ridicule. In Milwaukee, ATF agents ran an operation using Chauncey Wright, a brain-damaged 28-year-old man with a low IQ in the 50s to set up gun and drug deals. They then shutdown the operation and, you guessed it, they arrested Wright.
Wright approached ATF agents passing out fliers in a parking lot and was given a job. For six months, the ATF paid Wright with cigarettes, gifts, and money to get him to promote “Fearless Distributing” by handing out fliers on his bike around town. Wright was not aware that this was just a front by U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The store sold legitimate items but had catalogues with guns. Wright was reportedly told that the store did not sell guns, but bought them.
I have represented individuals with low IQ including one with a 51 IQ. They are treated as disabled in most states. The record shows ATF agents manipulating Wright in a way that shocks the conscience. In the meantime, ATF agents showed incredible incompetence in losing ATF guns, including a machine gun, to theft as well as a ballistic shield. They also reportedly left behind sensitive documents after they shut down the operation.
The 10-month operation resulted in charges against about 30 people for largely minor drug offenses. Agents pushed Wright to get drugs and guns. He sold the agents cocaine in March 2012 and ecstasy a few months later. He then started to bring them guns. After a break-in led to the loss of the guns, Wright was indicted on seven drug and gun counts with a maximum of life in prison. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Wright faces about four years “mildly mentally retarded.” The plea bargain had to be read to Wright because he cannot read beyond a kindergarten level.
With mostly low-level charges to show for the operation and the loss of weapons, Wright’s arrest seems particularly pathetic.
42 thoughts on “ATF Uses Brain-Damaged Man To Set Up Gun and Drug Deals Then Shuts Down Operation And Charges Brain-Damaged Man”
Easy pickins. Much easier to rack up arrest and conviction points on morons than on intelligent criminals.
When you mount a buck head on your wall you don’t have to tell anyone that the buck walked right up to you.
And morons are so plentiful!
Both Social Security and the criminal justice system differentiate between pure IQ and functional capacity. Sometimes people with low IQ are able to function better in a social setting than the an IQ test result would suggest. There are several tests for functional capacity that measure the person’s ability in a different fashion than do an IQ tests such as the Wechsler Intelligence Scales..
One such test is the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales.
Another is the Adaptive Behavior Assessment System
These tests approach measurement of adaptive skills and abilities in a quite different manner than an IQ test.
I once had a local judge tell me the law says the defendant must have NO adaptive capacity in order to be incompetent. I made the mistake of looking at him incredulously, telling him, “Every living thing adapts in order to survive, including rose bushes and my dog.” Really ticked him off. I probably should have not said anything, but I am too much like some of the other folks on this blog to let that pass.
The Federal government under Social Security disability deems that low IQ as per se disabled under it’s Listings. There should be prosecutions for taking advantage of such a disabled individual.
all i can say is WOW. can someone anyone remind me again of what the 3 letter agency atf duties were before they decided to entrap innocent civilians in their bs to justify their existence?
ATF equals AMERICA’S TRUE FASCISTS. These are the rotten government idiots who were responsible for fast and furious and the Waco massacre. When will these incompetent fools be disbanded?
Was Mr. Wright declared “competent to stand trial?” Or to plea? It seems his IQ may be too low for him to fully comprehend most aspects of the charges brought against him and the legal proceedings. And low IQ is correlated with impulsivity and poor judgment, including being able to resist the command of someone who seems “friendly.”
I think the goodness of a society is measured by the manner in which the society treat citizens with the least power.
As long as law enforcement officers are permitted to break the law & not suffer an equal or, properly, greater penalty than others, there will be no justice in this country. This is NOT proper, & NOT normal. The low IQ makes it all the more disgusting but ANY ENTRAPMENT is CRIMINAL. In some countries police get higher penalties for breaking the law. That is correct. Our law enforcement is perverted.
omega99, I have read that any Grand Jury can retain independence if it refuses to transfer its power to subpoena to the prosecutor. The power to control the inquiry is vested in being able to subpoena who and whatever the jury chooses. Any lawyer know anything about that? I’d be interested in a professional opinion.
write the book, i’ll buy a copy. hardcover even. i’ll want it signed, though.
btw, i bet they promote the atf agents.
Maybe a solution is to bring back independent grand juries (see 5th Amd.). Today, they are merely adjuncts of the prosecutor’s office. But historically, by acting truly independently, they could root out corruption among public officials by freely conducting investigations, and making presentments and indictments. And yes, they may have at times abused their power, leading to the phrase “runaway grand juries” for instance, but I believe you lawyers could figure out a way to mitigate against that.
The grand jury was once an arm of the people that could act as a check on government, although you will not find it listed as such in any enumeration of our system of checks and balances. Like the ballot box, it is an informal check that lies largely outside of the federal government. Rather than a check exercised between the branches of government, it can be thought of as a check exercised by the 4th branch, the people, against the other three formal branches. Since government seems to have grown steadily less accountable to the people, maybe independent grand juries could help restore some balance.
BATF = Jack-booted fascists. These morons are the dregs of law enforcement e.g. the recent seizure of airsoft guns because the ATF thought they could be turned into automatic weapons. The judge and prosecutor should both be tarred and feathered.
I read the article linked and the only word in the English language that adequately describe this situation begins with a “C” and ends with a “K”. It is wrong on just about every level.
From the beginning, any competent LEO would never use a mentally handicapped man for an informant. Legally it is a minefield. Does the person have the capability to give informed consent to become involved in such an operation? Second it is likely that any evidence obtained from him is going to suffer a lot of scrutiny in a suppression hearing countering the reliability of the assertions. And, this is not even going into the ethical violations of doing so, which certainly is sufficient to not do so.
In reading the article, there was a suggestion the ATF agents were involved in a dispute with the landlord over damage to the place and that the agents threatened him with some form of action. So given the type of officer that these guys were to have threatened the landord it seems likely to me the same type of thinking was involved with the informant. The ATF bungled the operation, and went after the informant to keep him in check, and the US Atty went along with it. CYA is the operative here.
The incompetence exercised here is disturbing, ATF prides itself in having some of the best trained agents within the federal LEA community and this is grossly deviant from even that. In itself it should be a cause for an investigation as to the suitability of the supervisory special agents there and the agents themselves.
And in the end, probably slaps on the wrist will ensue for the agents and this informant will be railroaded, even if just given probation it is too much. Generally informants are given a little more leave than this. Charging informants after the job is done will only lead to nobody wanting to help.
This is certainly a case for jury nullification if I ever saw one.
‘Project Gunrunner’ Whistleblower Says ATF Sent Him Termination Notice
ATF agents describe fear of retaliation
He said ATF managers turned against him after he reported in 2005 what he said was an illegal wiretap plan in a racketeering case. Records show ATF disputes his claims of the planned illegal wiretap. But he said that started a series of retaliatory measures that ended up in 2007 with him in a desk job. His only negative evaluation, he said, was the year after he criticized the planned wiretap.
“Had I not exposed some unethical, potentially criminal clearly outside policy conduct and actions by law enforcement that I was working with, none of this would have happened,” Cefalu said. “I would still be working in the field.”
“I report to where they tell me to report to, and I sit for eight hours a day, and then I go home,” he said. “I do nothing.”
John Taylor, a former ATF special agent based in Las Vegas, Nevada, said he was the target of retaliation after he wrote an anonymous letter to the agency’s inspector-general. In his 2006 letter, he alleged taxpayer money was being wasted on agents’ unnecessary trips to Las Vegas.
Taylor told CNN he was the target of an investigation into who wrote the letter.
“They asked me did I write the letter. My response was, ‘I don’t have to answer’ … they tried to charge me with lying.”
He said he left ATF as soon as he was eligible to retire after 20 years, on December 31, 2009.
“I told my wife, I’m not going to live if I stay here,” Taylor told CNN. “I was depressed. It was hell for me.”
Another agent in the Las Vegas office, who claims he was suspected of writing the anonymous letter, also alleged he was the target of retaliation by managers, according to records obtained by CNN. That agent was fired for failing to pass a firearms test, but later got his job back.
You can be sure that idiots will defend the ATF, the same sort of idiots who deny that pi…uh, cops murder homeowners under “drug seizure laws”, who deny that cops plant evidence, deny that cops coerce or give false testimony, who deny that wrongful convictions happen, and who deny that innocent people have been “executed” (read murdered) by various states.
Anon – It is time to start holding our government accountable for actions like these. By that I mean arrest them, charge them and imprison them.
It should have always been that way. No one should be immune to prosecution or be able to avoid legal culpability because of the position or job. Just as absolute power corrupts, so does immunity from prosecution.
Senseless waste of time by the Keystone Kops.
Onloooker, I agree. Look at how incredibly perceptive and relevant this quote is here in the year 2013. Madison was such an unbelievably brilliant man. One of the greatest political minds ever. We do not have a single person in our government that possesses anywhere near his intelligence or insight.
“A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. ” James Madison
The very existence of the agency is the problem. It’s bound to be corrupt and abusive, by it’s very nature. We’ve created the beast that is a large and powerful federal govt. And now we wonder how it can be so bad.
And we expect more than this from a pathetic agency???
OS, wow, can’t think of what to say when I read ridiculousness like that. (Although in my experience I have yet to find, truly, more then one honest lawyer so it makes sense that that is what you would get on the bench – sorry to the lawyers here but that is honestly my experience.)
Were the agents so dumb they did not recognize the impairment I wonder or were they that venomous that they did and did not care.
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