Read time: 2 minutes

WI Attorney General Bought Illegal Guns

Yes, crimes were committed but the only one in trouble is the whistleblower.

Just how screwed up is Wisconsin?

When people admit to crimes and yet don't get charged but the whistle blowers get fired. And the state's top cop is involved in it:

Records released by the state Department of Justice show that former DCI Special Agent in Charge Jay Smith acknowledged in an email to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that he had made and sold guns for others but said, “I have never made a profit on selling any of my firearms.”

“Any firearm I have ever sold (with one exception I told you about) has been to my brother, or a brother law enforcement officer, well known to me,” Smith wrote in the March 11, 2013, email to ATF Special Agent Dave Nygren. “As they were sold to brothers, I was happy to merely recoup the money I had in it, and pass on a good deal.”

Under federal law, firearms manufacturers must be licensed. A manufacturer is defined as “a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to manufacturing firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the firearms manufactured.”

An ATF investigation into Smith, handled by the agency’s St. Paul, Minnesota office, did not result in charges against Smith. Messages left with Robert Schmidt, the ATF spokesman, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Carol Kayser, who made the decision not to charge Smith, were not returned.

Dan Bethards, a 14-year undercover drug agent who brought allegations against Smith to state and federal authorities, was fired in October 2013 for violating several Department of Justice rules. He now works as a narcotics agent for the Lac Courte Oreilles tribal police department.

A tape recording Bethards said he made of his conversation with Nygren during the investigation last year also revealed that two of the weapons Smith made went to Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.

Asked to comment on Van Hollen’s purchase of two Smith-made firearms, spokeswoman Dana Brueck said any suggestion that the attorney general acted illegally is “untruthful and defamatory.” Bethards has said he did not believe the purchasers had committed any crimes.

Sadly, with the election of Brad Schimel to replace Van Hollen, it appears that Wisconsin will continue it's downward slide.

Can you help us out?

For 17 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.

More C&L Coverage

Discussion

New Commenting System

Our comments are now powered by Insticator. In order to comment you will need to create an Insticator account. The process is quick and simple. Please note that the ability to comment with a C&L site account is no longer available.

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.

Please Do Not Use the Login Link at the Top of the Site.

In order to comment you must use an Insticator account. To register an account, enter your comment and click the post button. A dialog will then appear allowing you create your account.

We will be retiring our Crooks and Liars user account system in January, 2021.

Thank you.
C&L Team