The House Oversight Committee has subpoenaed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) for documents related to a number of controversial storefront sting operations.
Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) wrote in a Wednesday letter to ATF director Todd Jones that he was subpoenaing the documents after ATF had repeatedly failed to turn over requested documents.
"After more than a year of promised cooperation, multiple letters to you, and several unfulfilled document requests, I have no choice today but to issue the enclosed subpoena to compel the production of documents relevant to the committee’s investigation," Issa wrote.
ATF sting operations first came under scrutiny last year, when the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that ATF agents had set up a false storefront to lure criminals selling drugs and illegal guns.
However, the operation was so poorly managed that its storefront was burglarized and thieves made off with more than $35,000 taxpayer funded merchandise and three guns, one of which was a fully automatic rifle.
Further investigations revealed similar ATF storefront sting operations in six other cities across the country. In several cases, the ATF recruited mentally disabled young men to drum up business, and then later arrested them.
The ATF did not immediately respond to a request for comment.