The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was in Queen Creek Dec. 13, however, nothing else is being released about the federal agency’s activities here.
Deputy Ivan Lopez, spokesman for Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office-Queen Creek, confirmed last week the ATF was in the community, but said agency officials would not permit him to say anything else.
MCSO-Queen Creek Capt. Dave Munley in a phone interview on Dec. 19 said that status had not changed.
The Queen Creek Independent’s phone calls and an e-mail to the ATF spokesperson in Phoenix have not been returned.
The Independent began making inquiries about the incident after receiving an e-mail from a Queen Creek resident who wrote that heavily armed ATF agents had been at a neighbor’s house near East Village Loop Road North and East Rittenhouse Road.
The Independent is not releasing the address that was provided as it has been unable to verify it.
The ATF was established as a separate component within the Department of Justice on Jan. 17, 2003, according to its website: https://www.atf.gov/about/who-we-are.
Its mission is to protect communities from violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, the illegal use and storage of explosives, acts of arson and bombings, acts of terrorism and the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products, according to the site.