Thursday, April 12, 2012
A federal judge has rejected defense claims that a firearms sting using a bogus pawn shop in a heavily black Wichita neighborhood was racially motivated.
U.S. District Judge Monti Belot refused Thursday to dismiss indictments stemming from the months-long undercover operation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The sting resulted in federal drug and firearms charges last year against 51 people — 43 of them black, four white and four of races unknown.
Defense attorneys argued the storefront targeted black males because it was located in a part of Wichita where blacks accounted for 33 percent of the population. The percentage of blacks citywide is about 11 percent.