With so many scandals to choose from, it seems that the Fast and Furious gun walking scandal that rocked the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has been all but forgotten. Several thousand guns walked across the border into Mexico where they were used to murder hundreds of Mexican citizens and at least two Americans including Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
The Senate and House investigations clearly showed that US Attorney General had knowledge of the operation and repeatedly lied to Congress while under oath about it. Yet, Holder has successfully escaped any consequences for his illegal actions. You know that Obama and the Democrats have been protecting him.
A new audit of selected ATF programs and investigations revealed that it wasn’t several thousand guns that walked away from the ATF, but they also allowed 420 million cigarettes to walk away in approved sting operations. Not only are they missing hundreds of millions of cigarettes, but they allowed informants to keep millions of dollars they weren’t entitled too.
Rob Storch, a spokesman for the DOJ commented about the AFT cigarette operations, saying:
“Approximately $15 million of cigarettes were sold in an 18-month period, and a confidential informant for the investigation was allowed to keep more than $4.9 million of the $5.2 million of gross profit generated without submitting adequate documentation supporting his expenses.”
Believe it or not, cigarette smuggling is big bigness, especially for organized crime. They purchase large quantities of cigarettes in states that have low tobacco taxes and then take them to states that have high tobacco taxes and sell them on the streets, making huge profits. Believe it or not a carload of cigarettes can generate a profit up to $30,000 in illegal profits. The DOJ estimates that local and state governments lose approximately $5 billion a year in tobacco tax revenue.
ATF agents have used millions of cigarettes in numerous sting operations in trying to bust illegal cigarette sales. However, it seems that all they’ve done is help supply the bootleg cigarette sales, pay informants millions of dollars, lose track of 420 million cigarettes and all without proper approval. Doesn’t that just build your confidence in our federal government?