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In storefront stings, ATF entrap mentally ill youth

A new report by the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel found that agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) used underhand, rogue tactics in drug and gun-dealing stings.

The ATF has been praised in recent months for crime-fighting operations. However, the Journal Sentinel findings reveal that agents would use tactics including convincing mentally ill teens to drum up business for illegal smoke shops, later arresting the youths. In one instance, government money went in to paying for a mentally ill young man to get a neck tattoo to serve as a walking advert for a fake storefront as a part of a sting.

The investigation, based on interviews, thousands of pages of court records, police reports and other documents made a number of key findings. Among them (via the Journal Sentinel):

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