Back in March, I wrote a blog about ATF agents who were suing the government, which began:

ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — on their official website, they still go by the abbreviation ATF) special agent Jay Dobyns worked undercover in the Hell’s Angels gang.  After finishing this undercover job, he and his family received death threats, among other horrific threats, and eventually his Arizona home was burned to the ground while Dobyns was out of town. Fortunately, his wife and children, who were sleeping inside the home, survived.  (To read the full blog article, click here)

This week, former ATF special agent Jay Dobyns won his case against the government.

U.S. Government Ordered to Pay Dobyns $173,000

Judge Francis Allegra ordered the government to pay Dobyns $173,000, and threw out the government’s claim against Dobyns for writing about being the first federal agent to infiltrate the inner circle of the outlaw Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in his New York Times best selling book, No Angel, My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells AngelsThe judge also threw out the government’s claim against Dobyns for producing a movie about his ATF experiences.

If the movie takes off the way his book did, Dobyns could become a Hollywood star.  But to many of his ATF peers, he already was one. While active as a special agent, Dobyns earned the ATF Distinguished Service Medal and the prestigious Top Cops award. In an article written by fellow ATF agent Vincent A. Cefalu in, Dobyns remained loyal to the agency and its personnel despite the hardships Dobyns and his family endured after he became a whistleblower:

Throughout these years, Agent Dobyns continued to do what “The Bird” does. He continued to offer his expertise in undercover operations to his fellow Agents as well as outside State and Local Agency’s. Dobyns was a coveted speaker and trainer in all walks of law enforcement and even military training environments. With very public disputes with ATF swirling, Dobyns continued his infectious praises for the Agency and its personnel he loved.

(Link to full article: “ATF Agent Says Goodbye to Legendary Fellow Agent Jay Dobyns”)

Judge Found Two ATF Officials Not Credible

In his ruling, Judge Allegre found the testimonies of two of Dobyns’ superiors in the ATF Arizona office to be “not credible.” More than that, the judge said one of the supervisors, George Gillette, “lied” about the arson that burned down Dobyns home (while his wife and children were inside — fortunately, they escaped).  Gillette is no longer an active agent, in fact he’s under investigation for illegally selling a gun that turned up in a Mexico crime scene where a Mexican beauty queen was killed.

If all of this wasn’t documented in court records and the press, it would sound like a fiction story, wouldn’t it? That’s exactly what Judge Allegre thought as well when he described some of the courtroom testimony he heard as being “a remarkable tapestry of fiction.”

In Jay Dobyns’ Own Words

Jay Dobyns has posted his reactions and thoughts at his site Also posted there are pictures of his legal team, his home after the arson, and images of his family, fallen border agent Brian Terry and this saying:

The truth is like a lion.

You don’t have to defend it.

Turn it loose, and it will defend itself.

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Managing Partner at Shaun Kaufman Law
Shaun Kaufman has 30 years of in-court experience, with hundreds of hours spent defending numerous high-profile cases including homicide, white-collar theft and RICO offenses. Specialties: Criminal defense, personal injury, business litigation, DUI.

Shaun Kaufman Law: 303-309-0430
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