ATF Fights Cigarette Smuggling by Smuggling Cigarettes! Don’t Cops Have Better Things to Do?!

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, (and Explosives!) has been fighting cigarette smuggling by smuggling cigarettes. Agents buy smokes in low-tax states like Virginia and sell them in high-tax states like New York. The sting operations are supposed to help build cases against smugglers, but ATF is cashing in too.

By law ATF may keep booty to cover “operational expenses.” As if the line between law breakers and law enforcers wasn’t blurry enough already, a recent inspector general report highlights a “serious lack of oversight” at the agency. Seems that confidential informants have been allowed to pocket, not expenses, but profits amounting to millions of dollars. ATF agents have “misused” $162 million in sting operation profits and “lost track” of $420 million cigarettes. (Yes, this is the same ATF that lost more than a thousand weapons during the infamous Fast and Furious fiasco.) And if you’re having trouble distinguishing the “good” guys from the “bad” guys, just remember: The “good” guys are the ones who get taxpayer-funded salaries and pensions.

But hey, don’t federal agents have better things to do! Well, ATF’s own most-wanted list features men suspected of crimes like murder, so yeah, agents could focus more time busting violent criminals. Then again, cigarette smuggling is so much more lucrative!

Just under two minutes.

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"Don't Cops Have Better Things to Do?" is written and directed by Ted Balaker (@tedbalaker). Producer is Matt Edwards (@MattChrisEd). Opening motion graphics by Meredith Bragg. Camera by Zach Weissmueller. Music by audionautix.com and "The Contessa" is by Maurice and the Beejays (Magnatune Records).

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Agents buy smokes in low-tax states like Virginia and sell them in high-tax states like New York.

    But we're all subject to the same laws...

  • timbo||

    Cops are not dumb. Their just mostly stupid with a few scary ones intermingled.

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    They're working "undercover", comrade Etiquette. For your protection and for the glory of the State!

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Legalized mafia. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • AlexInCT||

    ^^^^THIS^^^^

  • dora622||

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  • Wizard4169||

    Government: the ultimate protection racket.

  • anon||

    Don’t Cops Have Better Things to Do?!

    No. Next question.

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    Yes, of course they do. Sometimes when the district judges haven't outlawed it they like to have sex with hookers and then arrest them.

  • AlexInCT||

    Freedom is being told what to do by the authority types, which do not have to live by the rules they want us to live by....

  • DJF||

    """"Then again, cigarette smuggling is so much more lucrative!"''

    And chasing murderers is so much more dangerous. What's the worse that a smoker will do, cough on you?

  • Curtisls87||

    ^^^^This!^^^^
    By doing these low danger sting operations, they get to play like they're doing something effective, and continue to get funding. If they went after the bad guys, it would show how inept most of them are, and thus they would be risking their funding.

  • timbo||

    I have been having a real hard time getting weed for the last 50 years. I guess it is working after all.

  • SugarFree||

    Of course they are going to focus on this. It's costing them money.

    The spice must flow.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Those motherfuckers are stealing from the government!

    STEALING. From the GOVERNMENT.

    They must be crushed by Society's mighty iron fist.

  • Spartacus||

    I didn't realize that Lt. Dangle is working for the ATF now. Glad to see he found a new job.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The impression I have always had is that the BATF(E) is made up of people who couldn't get into the FBI or the Secret Service, plus a handful of would-be empire builders too outrageous for the Attourney General's office.

  • Mizchief||

    When the mob took over the government they just split up the vices into departments. ATF, DEA, the pimps and whores are put into congress.

  • boomslang4||

    The ATF is widely considered by the other federal LE agencies to be filled with nothing but retards, fuck-ups, and ass clowns.

  • Will Nonya||

    It isn't just federal agencies who think of them that way...

  • timbo||

    "This is to figure out what your aptitude's good at, and get you a jail job while you're being a particular individual in jail."

  • Robert||

    Why is BATFE involved in matters of state taxes?

  • Jquip||

    Because buy low, sell high. It's a matter of *federal* revenue.

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  • Anvil||

    Don't worry folks, these fine Federal Agents will be sure to claim these "revenues" on a 1099 form for tax purposes.

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  • juliajuli330||

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