Whistleblower: FBI Allowed Neo-Nazis to Assault ATF Informant


(Ken Silva, Headline USA) The FBI ignored an ATF agent’s warning that his informant was about to be assaulted by neo-Nazis, and then smeared the agent by accusing him of having a sexual relationship with the informant, according to a new book from an ATF whistleblower.

The book, entitled The Deadly Path, from former ATF agent Peter Forcelli is mostly about the Obama-era Operation Fast & Furious scandal, which entailed the U.S. government allowing illegal gun purchases under the guise of tracking organized crime. The operation never resulted in the arrests of any organized crime leaders, and it became a national scandal when Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed by a Fast & Furious firearm in 2010.

Before diving into Fast & Furious, Forcelli recounted a 2007 FBI operation called Tiny Dancer, which targeted the neo-Nazi prison gang Aryan Brotherhood in Arizona. The ATF’s Arizona agents were also investigating the Aryan Brotherhood at the time, and tensions with the FBI spilled over when the two investigations began overlapping.

At the time, Forcelli said that then-FBI supervisory special agent Matt Lawson asked him to close his investigation into the Aryan Brotherhood and to provide the FBI with access to the ATF’s informants in the Brotherhood. Forcelli said he’d consider closing his investigation if he could speak to the FBI’s informants, but Lawson denied him that request.

Accordingly, Forcelli declined to close his investigation. Shortly thereafter, allegations began swirling that the ATF agent heading the Aryan Brotherhood investigation, John McKenzie, had an affair with one of his own informants.

John Lewis, then the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Phoenix office, included the allegation in a letter to then-ATF Phoenix leader Bill Newell.

“The letter was a smear campaign, alleging that John McKenzie was having an affair with a female affiliated with the Aryan Brotherhood. I knew of the female mentioned, and about John’s interactions with her, all of which were professional,” Forcelli wrote of the smear against his agent.

“It was clearly a concerted effort to have John McKenzie blocked from working on anything related to the Aryan Brotherhood.”

Forcelli also wrote that the same informant McKenzie was accused of having an affair with had been assaulted by the Aryan Brotherhood—with the full knowledge and approval of the FBI.

“I was already aware of a recent incident where the FBI knew that members of a prison gang planned to assault this exact woman, and decided to allow it to happen instead of trying to intervene or warn her so she could go into hiding,” he wrote, adding that the assaulted ATF informant was also a meth addict.

“I knew this specifically because McKenzie himself had notified the FBI’s Gang Task Force of the threat and I was beside him when he called. And who was the supervisor of the FBI Gang Task Force? Why Matt Lawson himself.”

Forcelli said he wrote a scathing memo defending McKenzie. Then-FBI SAC Lewis surprisingly accepted the memo and retracted the allegations, commending Forcelli for sticking up for his agent.

The FBI arrested 31 people in the Aryan Brotherhood investigation in June 2007.

Meanwhile, Forcelli, who blew the whistle on the bureau’s Obama-era Operation Fast & Furious Scandal, has said he believes that the government is still allowing the streets to be flooded with illegal weapons à la Fast & Furious.

“The U.S. Attorney is turning a blind eye to straw purchases, which is fueling what’s going on in Mexico,” he said in February.

“The prosecutors who work there haven’t changed their ways. They have a habit of kicking the can down the road and not taking straw purchase cases. These are not purchasers who are buying guns for target shooters. These are guys who are sending guns to Mexico to slaughter human beings.”

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.