U.S. Attorney for Minnesota B. Todd Jones has been named interim director of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives after a gun trafficking incident led to the ouster of Acting Director Kenneth Melson.
Jones was appointed U.S. attorney by President Obama in 2009, after serving an earlier stint in the job under President Clinton. He’ll keep his U.S. attorney duties while doing the ATF job.
The agency, which has been in the spotlight after a controversial gun trafficking investigation in Phoenix allowed hundreds of firearms to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartel enforcers and criminals, was shut down when two weapons purchased by a target of the effort were recovered at the scene of a shootout where a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed.
In announcing Jones’ appointment, Attorney General Eric Holder said:
“As a seasoned prosecutor and former military judge advocate, Jones is a demonstrated leader who brings a wealth of experience to this position. I have great confidence that he will be a strong and steady influence guiding ATF in fulfilling its mission of combating violent crime by enforcing federal criminal laws and regulations in the firearms and explosives industries.”