No charges for DOJ official for alleged gun sales
- Associated Press
- August 30, 2013 - 8:10 PM
MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin Department of Justice agent who was accused of illegally manufacturing and selling weapons won't face criminal charges, according to a letter sent Friday to The Associated Press.
Assistant Attorney General Kevin Potter said the agency will now decide whether to launch an internal investigation into Jay Smith.
Smith was a supervisor at a Division of Criminal Investigation office in Superior when one of his agents reported he had been making and selling guns to other law officers, including Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, without a federal permit. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been investigating Smith since December.
The case was being handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota.
Potter's letter was sent to the AP in response to a records request.
"DCI was notified this week that ATF has concluded its investigation and no further action will be taken by the ATF or the U.S. Department of Justice," Potter wrote. "Pursuant to its standard procedure, DCI is reviewing results of the ATF investigation in order to determine whether any further internal action will be taken."
The DCI office in Superior closed in May as the agency cut costs, and Smith has remained on duty as an agent.
Dan Bethards, the 14-year agent who accused Smith, declined comment when reached Friday by the AP, saying he feared he would be punished if he spoke to the media.
Bethards, a drug investigator for DCI, took a stress-related medical leave in October. He was cleared to return to duty in June but was immediately placed on leave while an internal review was conducted for unspecified rules violations. The leave was ordered after news of the ATF investigation became public.
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