Cumberland County, North Carolina the First of Such Operations
FAYETTEVILLE, NC — The Charlotte Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is conducting the first of several “surges” of resources to a specific area to identify illegal firearms traffickers.
ATF Special Agent in Charge, Wayne L. Dixie said, “The Cumberland County area licensed firearm’s dealers have been identified as an area of concern because North Carolina has long been a “source” state for guns being illegally trafficked to other states. That, along with the sheer number of FFL businesses in the area dictated we start our surge process here.”
Under the ATF national Frontline strategy of conducting intelligence lead investigations, the utilization of the surge technique enhances the agency’s ability to identify gun traffickers and further conduct criminal investigations to stop the illegal activity. The criminal conduct domain assessment for the Cumberland County/Fayetteville area has placed the intervention of illegal firearms trafficking as a top priority in the region.
ATF Industry Operations has identified specific licensed firearms dealers that will undergo full compliance inspections for the purpose of identifying individuals that could be involved in an illegal firearms trafficking organization or scheme.
Illegal firearms’ trafficking contributes to violent gun crime throughout the nation and is a tool used by individuals and organized crime groups to obtain weapons to further their criminal goals. These illegally trafficked firearms are used in violent crimes such as murder, assault, armed robberies, witness and victim intimidation, police officer assaults and other crimes.
ATF will deploy Industry Operations Investigators to conduct these inspections along with support from ATF law enforcement. This initiative is expected to last several weeks and the results of any investigative leads will be followed up in a criminal investigation to identify those that choose to engage in the felony crime of illegal firearms trafficking.
The targets of this law enforcement effort are not the lawful federal firearms licensee business owners, but those that take advantage of the business and are involved in illegal firearms trafficking in any manner.