New acting director of ATF B. Todd Jones will tackle "lack of stability"

U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones
U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones, seen in a 2009 file photo, is taking over at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Justice Department said on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011.
MPR File Photo/Jess Mador

Minnesota's U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones will take over as acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Tuesday.

Jones, who was serving his second stint as U.S. Attorney, will take over an agency that has been receiving heavy criticism over the past few months.

The former head of the ATF, Kenneth Melson, was criticized for a botched sting operation that resulted in guns getting into the hands of violent criminals in Mexico.

The southwest border operation aimed at busting gun traffickers failed to account for missing weapons. Three top leaders were replaced by the Justice Department today.

Jones says he plans to take the pulse inside the agency, refocus its energy on law enforcement priorities, and bring stability to the agency.

"They haven't had a confirmed director at ATF in almost six years," Jones said. "I will be the fifth acting director at ATF and that lack of stability takes its toll on an organization and I go into this knowing full well that there's a lot of work to do."

Jones will continue his duties as Minnesota's US attorney while serving as acting director of the ATF.

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