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Department of Justice investigation for sting operation in Escambia Co.


A sting operation that led to dozens of arrests in Escambia County, is now under federal review.

The Department of Justice is looking at "Operation Anything for a Buck."
   
Law enforcement opened a fake store on Pace Boulevard in 2011.
For eight months, they bought guns and stolen goods - no questions asked.
    75 people were eventually charged.
    But were the charges fair?
   
The Justice Department wants to take a look at the role the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives played in the sting.
    They're looking at three other ATF involved stings around the country for "possible systemic deficiencies".
   
The investigation comes after a report by a Milwaukee newspaper found problems and 'foul ups"  in the operations.
    The article quoted a Milton man, Gary Renaud, who says he was recruited as an informant and worked in the store.
   
He told the paper, he is a convicted felon, so when customers knowingly sold him a gun, it ran up the arrest numbers.
   
The report also found that agents used mentally disabled people to promote operations and then arrested them for their work and that some of the operations were close to schools and churches to increase the arrest numbers and penalties. Some stings intentionally attracted juveniles with free video games and alcohol.