Monday, January 24, 2011

Why Is ATF Involved And Not DEA?

I've subscribed to the press releases from BATFE headquarters and certain of their field divisions. I think it is smart to keep tabs on what they are doing. I got the following press release sent out by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois.
McHenry County Man Charged with Federal Drug Trafficking Charges

ROCKFORD — PATRICK J. FITZGERALD, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, together with ANDREW L. TRAVER, Special Agent-In-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and KEITH NYGREN, McHenry County Sheriff, today announced:

A federal grand jury in Rockford yesterday returned an indictment charging BRIAN M. BLUM, 31, of McHenry, with two counts of distributing cocaine. If convicted of the offenses charged, Blum may be sentenced up to 30 years of imprisonment, as well as a fine of up to $2,000,000, for each count. Blum will be arraigned on January 19, 2011, at 10:30 a.m. before Magistrate Judge P. Michael Mahoney in the federal courthouse in Rockford.

The case was investigated by Special Agents of the Rockford Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department with the assistance of the United States Marshals Service. The case will be prosecuted in federal court by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph C. Pedersen.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving that defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Beyond the self-serving nature of this press release, why is ATF involved in a drug case and not the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration)? It would seem outside of their assigned mission of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives. Am I missing something here?


  1. Start of oblabla's national security force?

  2. Because they were probably investigating a NFA or trafficking charge and ended up with just a drug charge.

  3. It's also possible that the suspect knew all the local DEA types, so BATF/E personnel were brought in.

  4. Usually they are supposed to back off when infringing on the authority of another agency. Such as when ICE starts a similar investigation but can find no direct evidence of the drugs being brought into the U.S.