Jay Dobyns

Editor's note: The original version of this column was published on August 10, 2014 at JayDobyns.com.To view ATF investigation documents related to this column, please click here.

To the Honorable Members of the Senate and House of Representatives:

My name is Jay Dobyns. In January of this year, I retired from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms after twenty-seven years of decorated service.

Today is the six-year anniversary of the arson of my home. My wife and two children were inside when the fire was set. They were lucky to escape and survive, although my home and all of our belongings were destroyed by that criminal act.

Leading up to that conclusive and somewhat predictable event, my family and I had already endured years and dozens of credible and validated death and violence threats issued from violent crime suspects and based on my work as an ATF Agent. Each time those events were summarily dismissed by ATF’s leadership as unworthy of attention.

After investigating the August 10, 2008, arson, two of the nation’s leading arson investigators determined that I was not involved. ATF’s leadership, both nationally and locally, ignored the determinations of their own experts and maliciously pursued me as the sole suspect, implicitly categorizing me as an ATF agent willing to murder his own family by fire. The managers and executives involved were known to be corrupt, despised by ATF agents, and among those who planned and implemented ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious.

Those mangers ignored real-time investigative leads and true suspects while instead illegally recording my telephone calls and attempting to gather intelligence on me. None was to be found because I was not involved and innocent. One of ATF’s investigators, an Agent trusted to investigate the Olympic Park bombing, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Columbine High School massacre, the 9/11 terrorist attack and countless other crime scenes told ATF – “I’ve investigated Jay, he’s clean, let me go find the people who did this.”

ATF’s manager George Gillett (of Fast and Furious infamy) immediately removed that agent and his partner from the case. Their investigation did not fit his agenda.

ATF intentionally scuttled their investigation before contaminating a hand-off to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Under the guidance of the Department of Justice, the most flagrant destruction of one federal agent’s career and reputation ever publicly known took place. Now six years later the trail has gone cold and the real arsonist(s) remain at large having attempted to murder a federal agent and his family without pursuit.

When that conduct was challenged in court, both agencies used every tactic available to them, some illegal, some merely unethical and despicable, to cover-up their conduct. Attorneys for the government were fired for their actions in this case; their bad acts never acknowledged or remedied. The unethical tactics used by the government included the destruction and withholding of critical evidence and providing false sworn testimony at depositions and at trial.

The highest levels of leadership at each of these agencies are fully aware of the truth, yet they continue efforts to ensure it is never exposed. That is the system now firmly entrenched at the United States Department of Justice and at ATF – do anything necessary to do to keep your job, displace blame onto others, and if you must, hide and misrepresent the facts and truth from public and courtroom examination.

I respect the separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches defined by our Constitution. As I await the findings of the court with patience and hope, I honor those laws. The truth is going to come out, whether ATF, DOJ, and their leaders Eric Holder and B. Todd Jones, care for it or not.

My biggest disappointment is that facts and evidence revealed during my lawsuit have been publicly available and brought to your attention for a considerable amount of time. Our nation’s elected officials, appointed Justice Department and ATF leaders, mid-level managers, federal prosecutors, and every internal ethics mechanism within those agencies, just doesn’t care.

Those agencies and their leaders have felt no pressure from you on this matter, thus, no inclination to do anything about ATF scuttling the investigation of the attempted murder of an agent and his family, or ATF’s calculated effort to place the crime on my shoulders. I say “ATF” because when ATF managers conduct themselves in this manner and ATF executive leadership becomes aware of it yet fails to enact discipline, terminate employment or refer internal crimes for prosecution, then ATF and those executives own and accept those misdeeds as approved methods of operation.

Fortunately, Congress and the judiciary have the power and authority to correct these wrongs. I have faith and confidence that the court will determine what facts are true and render a fair and appropriate conclusion.

But, where is Congress on this? What more is needed? If federal legislators are waiting for the court to put a bow on this situation for them then, in my opinion, you are not fulfilling your duties and passing the buck by displacing your jobs onto the Judge. Evidence is presently available for your attention and action outside of the pending legal proceedings. The court will do their job. Will you? For six years ATF’s top brass has acted in the very manner that you publicly criticize them for but, Congress has turned their backs to this situation acting in the exact manner you challenge ATF’s leadership for. Attached below is a fraction of the critical information available to you that is not protected by the court. Will you react to it or will hold a double standard; one for your demands of ATF accountability and one for yourselves?

My situation may be unique, in that there was an attempt to murder me and my family, but the nature of cover-up and retaliation that I have suffered is similar to dozens, if not hundreds, of other cases in ATF. As I await the court’s resolution of my case, there are clear and decisive measures that Congress can take now to prevent situations like mine from being repeated. To date, none of those have been implemented, and no hearings have been held. DOJ and ATF have been empowered by your exhaustion for seeking the truth. In their eyes, they have won. They have weathered the storm, out-waiting and out-litigating your inquiries.

Given my situation and in the eyes of my family, friends and respected peers, I cannot allow the excuse of frustration or weariness to prevent me from continuing to address this matter, even in retirement.

As evidence of those agencies unchecked brazenness; in May of 2013, one month before the trial regarding my allegations of failure to assist a threatened employee, I was attacked on a commercial airline flight by gang members who recognized me. ATF, the FBI and DOJ once again failed to conduct even the most elementary investigation of that event ignoring the simplest and most basic investigative procedures that would have quickly resulted in arrests and prosecutions. I assume that that they did not react knowing that this new attack on me was outside the scope of the allegations pending before the court and could not be discussed at trial.

I have done all that I can to seek truth, justice and accountability. I am but one man mostly powerless to force or affect change. Please do your part to ensure that no other government employee, no other lawman or woman anywhere, has to suffer the consequences that I have behind their service to America’s law enforcement missions.

Respectfully,
Jay Dobyns


Jay Dobyns

Jay Dobyns is a retired ATF agent and author of No Angel, My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels. He has received two ATF Gold Star awards for injuries received in the line of duty and the Attorney General's Medal of Valor.