Monday, May 22, 2006

Bloomberg's Lawsuit Stunt Causing Criminal Justice Problems

Found this linked by alandp at The Gun Blogs.

Nice to see that law enforcement is paying attention.

Mayor Bloomberg's decision to hire private investigators to conduct undercover stings at Southern gun shops has potentially jeopardized several criminal cases, law enforcement sources charged.

Four cases were compromised and an additional 14 were put at risk by the six-week sting aimed at gun stores in Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia, the sources said.

The sources argued that several suspects being watched by authorities had frequented some of the 15 gun shops - but are now cleaning up their acts or lying low because of the publicity. None of the ongoing cases was linked to New York, the sources said.


"The goal is to lock up gun criminals, not file civil lawsuits with publicity stunts," the source said.

But the city's criminal justice czar dismissed the complaints.

"What we did can only complement any ongoing investigation," said Criminal Justice Coordinator John Feinblatt, adding his office had received only positive feedback, as well as requests to share the evidence gathered. The NYPD was not involved in the sting.

"Agencies will marry the video evidence we gathered with other evidence to make a far richer, far stronger and far more airtight case," Feinblatt said.

Makes you wonder how the BATFE or the Justice Dept. will be able to use this evidence. Considering that the Bloomberg "stings" were of questionable legality to start. If you haven't read about it, the Private Investigators performed straw purchases, or attempted to in many of the cases that Bloomberg cites as evidence of wrong doing on the part of the firearms dealer.

I also wonder if the BATFE or other federal agency is looking at the legality of the acts. I also wonder how these Private Investigators came to the conclusion that the Mayor of New York could authorize them to perform illegal activities in other states. Here is an article that states that the PIs were performing straw purchases.
For the sting operation, the city singled out about 45 dealers based on gun trace data that links weapons sold in those shops to hundreds of shootings and other crimes in New York City from 1994 to 2001.

Private investigators wore hidden cameras and attempted "straw purchases," where one person fills out the legal forms and makes the purchase for someone else. The scam, prohibited by federal law, is typically used by people who cannot own firearms, such as convicted felons.

The city said the undercover investigators entered stores in teams of two, usually a man and a woman. While the woman roamed the store and acted uninterested, the man made all the inquiries about the gun and made it clear he was the buyer, the city said. When it came time to make the purchase, the woman would step up to fill out the paperwork.

The majority of dealers refused the sale, Bloomberg said. In a video from one such attempt, the man behind the counter shrugged his shoulders, apologized and said it would be against the law for him to sell to the woman because she was clearly not the intended user.

Doesn't this also implicate Bloomberg for conspiring to perform these illegal acts?

Prediction. None of these actors will see any investigation, never mind prosecutions.

1 comment:

Granted said...

Yeah, now that'd be cool. Bloomburg gets prosecuted under the laws he tried to violate. Works for me.