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BATFE supplied cigeratte smugglers and laundering profits through slush fund

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2Revolutions

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Long article but shows ATF real mission and how it operates.

https://nytimes.com/2017/09/08/us/atf-tobacco-cigarettes.html?_r=0


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Mr. Lesnak specialized in investigating tobacco smuggling, one of the A.T.F.’s core missions. Though cigarettes are available at any corner store, they are extraordinarily profitable to smuggle. That’s because taxes are high and every state sets its own rates. Virginia charges $3 per carton. New York charges $43.50. The simplest scheme — buying cigarettes in Virginia and selling them tax-free in New York — can generate tens of thousands of dollars in illicit cash. By some estimates, more than half of New York’s cigarettes come from the black market.

The A.T.F. tried setting up front companies to infiltrate smuggling rings, but with limited success. Gangs and cartels were too smart to deal with companies that appeared out of thin air. Mr. Lesnak had a solution: Rather than pose as a real company, go into business with an existing one.


In late 2006, Mr. Lesnak persuaded Jason Carpenter, an established small-time Alabama tobacco distributor, to open a warehouse in Bristol, become an informant and let the A.T.F. operate alongside him. “We basically merged ourselves with a tobacco business,” Mr. Lesnak said last year in a confidential deposition.

“The idea was, ‘If you build it, they will come,’” Mr. Carpenter said in a deposition. “And lo and behold,” he said, “they came.”

Would-be smugglers appeared, looking to buy untaxed cigarettes. Some offered cash. Others offered to trade stolen property or guns. Mr. Lesnak and Ryan Kaye, one of the agents involved in the operation, worked the floor. “It got to the point where we were, you know, warehouse workers as opposed to criminal investigators,” Mr. Lesnak said.

The A.T.F. allowed Mr. Carpenter and his business partner, Christopher Small, to conduct illicit tobacco sales in the hopes of catching criminals. Mr. Lesnak, Mr. Carpenter and Mr. Small declined repeated interview requests.

Normally, undercover operations run entirely on government money, from a government account that is reviewed by government auditors. But Mr. Carpenter was running a real company. Sometimes he worked for the government, sometimes for himself, and it was not always clear where the profits should go.

SO THE A.T.F. DEVISED A SOLUTION: When it was unclear where the money belonged, it went into a private account that Mr. Carpenter controlled. That kept the money outside the reach of Congress. Mr. Lesnak dictated all the spending and said he expected the government to balance the books at the end of the investigation. That never happened.

Mr. Kaye testified last year and was asked repeatedly who approved this arrangement and under what authority:

“I do not recall exactly who authorized that.”

“I wouldn’t call it ‘authorization.’ I would call it an ‘understanding.’”

“No authorization was needed.”

“I don’t know of a specific law that authorizes those specific activities.”

The secret fund became known as a “management account,” and word spread quickly among A.T.F. agents that if you needed something, Mr. Lesnak could get it without red tape.

As Mr. Lesnak described it, senior officials in Washington frequently sent agents to him for untraceable license plates, credit cards and more. Automobiles, particularly luxury cars, were hot items. “We had so many vehicles that we actually set up a company just for leasing,” Mr. Small said in a deposition.

Agents relied on the management account for routine expenses, and Mr. Small said hotel bills and gas alone could run to $23,000 a month. “We had 14 or 15 agents carrying American Express cards that we paid the bill on,” Mr. Small said.

Mr. Carpenter’s and Mr. Small’s company, Big South Wholesale, quickly became the national warehouse for all of A.T.F.’s smuggling investigations, records show.

But nobody from the government ever audited the spending, the Justice Department acknowledges. The responsibility for that oversight fell to the Big South bookkeeper, Wendi H. Davis, who testified that she managed the government’s secret account on a QuickBooks file on her computer. She did not respond to messages or a letter left at her home.

The unusual business arrangement and the secret account helped make Mr. Carpenter and Mr. Small two of the A.T.F.’s most valuable informants. Their work helped lead agents to more than 100 arrests, Mr. Lesnak said. Records show they aided the F.B.I., the Drug Enforcement Administration, even British intelligence.




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EvadingGrid

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Long article but shows ATF real mission and how it operates.

https://nytimes.com/2017/09/08/us/atf-tobacco-cigarettes.html?_r=0




Last Edit by Palmerston

Talk about "Benefits Packages", that is taking the mick as we Brits say.



Last Edit by Palmerston
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The problem is the virus called the Illuminati.
 

 

2Revolutions

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If article was released two weeks ago on a Friday.  This should be a Monday front page story for the New York Times.



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poseidonlost

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ATF only makes headlines when they're the "heroes." It's a criminal organization with high ranking members being Initiates of the Flame.

Smuggling across state lines? It should've been handled by the FBI with help from the respective state agencies being violated by interstate smuggling operations. There's no reason for the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, but murder, mayhem, and piracy.



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EvadingGrid

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Remind me, aren’t they the same lot that mysteriously did not turn up for work in OK City bombing ?



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We are all running on Gods laptop.
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poseidonlost

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Remind me, aren’t they the same lot that mysteriously did not turn up for work in OK City bombing ?

Yep. While the daycare still operated...



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2Revolutions

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They were also arming the cartels by allowing known felons to buy guns.



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