Judge: ATF Sting Operation Not Racially Motivated

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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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.

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