Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

  • News

    May 1, 2014
  • Blogs

    April 23, 2014

    West, Texas Explosion: One Year Later, Nothing Has Changed

    In the wake of the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion, it's probably not surprising to learn that the disaster -- which killed at least 14, injured hundreds and gave the little North Texas town the look of a post-apocalyptic war zone -could have been avoided. That's what the U.S. Chemical Safety ... More >>

  • News

    October 10, 2013

    Loving Obamacare

    Despite glitches, Houstonians flock to sign up to be covered by the new insurance plans.

  • Blogs

    October 1, 2013

    Five Ways the Government Shutdown Will Screw Up Your Life

    With the Affordable Care Act tied to the federal budget, and the Senate and House of Representatives about as cooperative as a herd of sugared-up, nap-free toddlers, it seemed inevitable that the government would shut down at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday...and it did. A government shutdown hasn't happene ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 4, 2013

    Want To Lose Your Gun? Come To Texas, Study Says

    It's pretty darn well known around here that most Texans love their guns. If you're from Texas, it's a fair bet that you can boast at least one relative who basically owns an arsenal that would be enough firepower to defend a small country, if the need arose. Earlier this year a University of Texas ... More >>

  • News

    June 13, 2013
  • Blogs

    June 6, 2013

    Houston Firefighters Honored at Reliant Stadium Memorial

    Fire trucks from across Texas rumbled through the streets of Houston before dawn to be a part of a procession that would lead into Reliant Stadium. The trucks filled the front stadium parking lot, silent with lights flashing as they moved into the stadium parking lot an hour before the memorial ser ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 4, 2013

    Memorial for Fallen Firefighters Scheduled as Investigation Continues

    Last Friday, a call went out around noon for a fire that seems to have started in the kitchens of the Southwest Inn. Firefighters from the Houston Fire Department showed up, because that's what they do. The fire was massive, a five-alarm blaze being battled by more than 200 firefighters from 60 unit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 24, 2013

    Chemical Safety Board Investigation on West Explosion Blocked

    In the wake of the West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion, the folks over at the Chemical Safety Board got their team together and headed to Texas to start the process of sifting through the massive pile of rubble at the blast site to try and figure out what actually happened on April 17 when the f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 8, 2012

    Feds Offer $5,000 Reward For Info On Garden Ridge Pottery Fire

    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction in the October 2011 arson of a Garden Ridge Pottery in Conroe. The feds announced he move today "for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 10, 2012

    NAACP Pledges "Strong Support" For Controversial AG Eric Holder

    It was on and then off. When it was back on, it was on. Kind of. Mid-morning Tuesday, United States Attorney General Eric Holder, who had canceled his Monday appearance on account of an airplane delay, addressed the delegates of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People meeting ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 9, 2012

    Kaleem Stephens: Tells Undercover Cop of Plans to Rob Armored Car with "Bin Laden-Style Gun"

    Kaleem Stephens and his colleagues had big plans. They were going to knock over an armored car, with the help of some employees on the inside. The take would be about $250,000. The plans included Stephens using what he called "a Bin Laden-style gun" on the driver which, evidence showed, apparently ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 26, 2012

    Pawn Stars: Thieves Nab Hundreds of Guns in String of Robberies

    When I watched the full video seen in the screen capture image above, I thought two things. First, I thought, "Wow, that is a brazen commission of an alleged crime I am witnessing on the Internet. How...brazen!" Secondly, I thought, "Every cop show on television lies to me!" Because, look at that im ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 11, 2011

    Veteran Cop Harry Leroy Kelley Sentenced For Selling Hollow-Point Bullets and Other Police Gun Gear

    Cop Harry Kelley was the man to see for illegal arms and ammunition, feds say.​A Kingwood man who was a veteran Liberty County police officer was sentenced to a year in federal prison for illegally buying and selling police guns and ammunition, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Beaumont announced. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 30, 2011

    Synaca Thomas and Brittany Jordan: Couple Take $5 Bills and Turn Them into a Half-Million Worth of $100 Bills

    Could that be a $5 bill?​A husband-wife team has been indicted for counterfeiting after allegedly spending up to $500,000 in fake $100 bills that started out as $5 bills. Synaca Thomas, 34, and his wife Brittany Jordan, 25, of Cypress, passed the bills at Houston-area businesses for two years ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 27, 2011

    Kathe Nacey: Granny Threatens to Blow Up Every Wells Fargo in the U.S. Over ATM Snafu

    MCSOKathleen Nacey got bomb-level mad.​The older we get, the more we start to sympathize with people like Kathe Nacey. On Saturday, Willis cops were told that the 62-year-old had just stormed into a Wells Fargo bank in a rage. Apparently, Nacey's ATM card was not working at the Pulse machine ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 1, 2011

    Camera Catches Arsonist Red-Handed

    HFDThe arsonist in his element.​Houston Fire Department investigators are still trying to catch a serial arsonist in southwest Houston, and right now they're pinning their hopes on some grainy security-cam footage. Fire Marshall Richard Galvan tells Hair Balls the investigation is a high pri ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 8, 2011

    ATF, Military Called Out To Defuse East Texas Sparkler Bomb

    San Augustine County JailHeather Horn: Desperate terrorist​Two young East Texas women -- 25-year-old Candice Harris and 29-year-old Heather Horn, both of Bronson, Texas -- are charged with felonies after authorities caught them earlier this week with what they are branding as dangerous incendi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 25, 2010

    Concealed Handgun Licenses: Finally, Texans Can Apply Online

     Nothing can go wrong with th -- d'oh!​It's about damn time: Applicants for Texas concealed handgun licenses who want to apply through the mail can now go on the DPS website to download the application forms instead of waiting to receive the application packet in the mail. Applicants also ha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 10, 2009

    (Allegedly) Kinky ATF Agent Gets In Big Trouble In Big Easy

    ​What began as a routine investigation of a malfunctioning fire-alarm system at a suburban New Orleans Residence Inn ended with police discovering a scene worthy of Quentin Tarantino and Dennis Hopper at their most depraved and the arrest of 44-year-old Russell Vanderwerf, a Houston-based agen ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 28, 2009

    Hmmmm....The Gallery Furniture Fire Arrest Seems Awfully Solid

    Photo courtesy HCSORobert Gillham​All you Mattress Mack conspiracy-theorists who were speculating he might have had the big fire at his warehouse set himself can relax -- a suspect has been arrested. Robert Gillham, 66, had been fired by Gallery Furniture and was pissed.Or can you relax? From the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 30, 2008

    Friends Don't Let Friends Buy Guns For Friends

    Residents in the Rio Grande Valley are about to be hit with some stern lecturing, via the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms and the Southern District's U.S. Attorney's Office. "Don't Lie For The Other Guy" is the catchy slogan for a campaign designed to stop "straw purchases" of guns -- when so ... More >>

  • News

    January 17, 2008

    Back from Iraq with Plenty of Problems

    Paul Miles returned from Iraq needing help with the death in his head. He got prison.

  • News

    March 31, 2005

    Uncivil Action

    No one's responsible for a body-parts debacle

  • News

    February 17, 2005

    Three Days Too Many

    First, a botched robbery case. Now, a botched punishment for the HPD cop involved.

  • News

    December 30, 2004

    Books and Bullets

    A gun shop and a school make great neighbors

  • News

    August 26, 2004

    Truth and Consequences

    Sometimes in the game of cops and robbers, telling your story is no defense

  • News

    July 5, 2001


    Off the "X", Beaching Out, The Low Down

  • News

    March 2, 2000

    This Bud's for John

    John McCain's family

  • News

    February 17, 2000

    Gang of One

    Critics say cops and prosecutors are too quick to label some minorities as gangsters

  • News

    July 15, 1999

    The Outcasts

    After the Littleton massacre, Brazosport High cracked down on its own "freaks" which only left them more alienated

  • News

    July 15, 1999

    Conspiracy Theory

    Arms dealer-turned-gadfly Al Johnson thinks everyone's out to get him. He's right

  • News

    May 14, 1998

    Numbers Man

    The interim U.S. attorney is hustling small-time cases through the courts

  • News

    April 9, 1998

    The Hotel Six Joker Turns Wild

    A chance encounter and a federal feud endanger the sting

  • News

    September 14, 1995


    In a small town south of Houston, they say school prayer is a matter of religious freedom. But even in Santa Fe, freedom for one student can be tyranny for another.

  • News

    June 22, 1995

    God, Guns & Kombucha

    Is Steve Stockman a committed crackpot, or just a hapless goofball?