The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has long been known to be one of the Federal government agencies that is abusive of their powers. Until now they've always targeted private individuals or companies.
It looks like the bet has been raised--now they're starting to go after small-town law enforcement.
Bear in mind that Police Chief Lee Whalon, a 13-year officer, admits his guilt. (Stand up fellow, that Chief Whalen.) But here's what he's guilty of:
As with all things relating to bureaucratic paperwork, the story is long. (Read the article!) The short version is that during a trade for some NFA weapons from another department, Chief Whalon didn't get his paperwork submitted in time.
So for that heinous offense, the small town of Carlton, OR loses it's police chief, a man's career is ruined, another officer's career will be curtailed, and some ATF-types get their jollies.
That high-pitched whining sound you hear is our Founding Fathers, doing 10,000 RPM six feet under.