Washoe County DA files own charges after federal case dropped


RENO - The Washoe County district attorney's office has filed charges against a man whose case was dismissed by federal prosecutors after they stopped pursuing cases from local agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Willie Ledet was charged Sept. 20 with trafficking a controlled substance and being a felon in possession of a firearm, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.

The 46-year-old Ledet was arrested in May 2011 after an undercover ATF and Sparks police operation caught him selling drugs and guns, they said. A federal grand jury indicted him on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

But the U.S. Attorney's Office filed a motion to dismiss the indictment in October 2011 shortly after it sent a letter to ATF agents in Reno saying they would no longer prosecute their cases until unspecified "issues" were resolved.

After an unsuccessful attempt to fix the problems, most of Reno's ATF agents transferred to posts in other states.

District Attorney Richard Gammick told the newspaper that federal prosecutors' decision "isn't riding too well with me. We're not going to let (Ledet) walk on a weapons charge. We're going after it ."

The rift between the two federal agencies is being investigated by the Justice Department and is the focus of congressional inquiries.

 

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