Personal files of federal agents won’t be given to public defenders

Defense attorneys representing five defendants nabbed in an undercover operation lost their fight today to have the personnel files of two federal agents turned over to them.

Attorneys with the public defenders office objected to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reviewing its own agents’ files to determine whether they include exculpatory information.

The attorneys sought to have the U.S. attorney’s office review the case, a request that was denied by U.S. District Judge George Foley Jr.

The public defender’s office requested the information after seeing a federal agent snorting a substance and smoking a pipe during the ATF’s Operation Sin City Ink.

The agents opened a fake tattoo shop and spread the word that they dealt firearms and illegal drugs. About 10 suspects were arrested in May on drugs and weapons charges.

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