Closing Arguments in ATF Agent's Case Against The Government Begin and End Today

Posted: Feb 18, 2014 8:30 AM

The closing arguments in Dobyns v.USA are set to take place this morning at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Tucson, Arizona.

Former ATF Special Agent Jay Dobyns has been suing the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms for more than a year after the agency failed to properly provide protection for himself and his family. His battle with the government has spanned over the course of a decade.

"I am assuring to everyone who attends that you will be shocked and stunned. Maybe infuriated and sickened," Dobyns said on his website. "The closing arguments will be the culmination of ten full years of my attempts to ferret out the truth from government law enforcement agencies determined to cover up those truths and mischaracterize those facts. The last five years have taken the form of my lawsuit"

As a reminder, Dobyns worked undercover in the violent Hell's Angels biker gang. When his identity as an agent was exposed, death threats poured in and were ignored by ATF leadership. Threats were laid out in prison letters and confirmed through FBI and ATF interviews of confidential informants inside the Florence Corrections Facility and the Arlington County Detention Center in Virginia. Also found circulating in the Florence Facility by a prisoner known as the captain of the Aryan Brotherhood named "WHITEY," was an extensive hit list with Jay Dobyns as a top target. Leaders of each gang in the prison had a copy of the list and had been given "permission to kill" persons listed according to ATF documents and interviews. Dobyns’ name, in addition to a detailed description of his appearance, also came up in prison yard talk.

When Dobyn's house was burned down, allegedly an arson by those associated with the Hell's Angels, ATF supervisors attempted to frame Dobyns to cover their own failures and corruption. The management team in place at the time included Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Phoenix Field Division William Newell, Assistant Special Agent in Charge George Gillett and ATF Deputy Assistant Director William McMahon, who served as Newell’s direct supervisor at the time.

Although Dobyn's house was burned to the ground at 3 a.m., with his wife and children inside who luckily were able to escape, Newell called the incident "minor scorching."

A DOJ Inspector General report concluded that management within the ATF Phoenix office, despite having the necessary resources, did not adequately address threats made against Dobyns and found "absence of any corrective measures proposed to address the failure to conduct timely and thorough investigations into the death threats made against Dobyns."

Dobyns retired earlier this year from the Bureau. Closing arguments begin at 9:30 local time.

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