ATF Agent Jay Dobyns, Infiltrator of Hells Angels, Says Feds "Abandoned" Him in Tucson House Fire Investigation


An undercover agent who infiltrated the Arizona Hells Angels basically called his federal superiors cowards this morning on NPR for not doing more to find out who burned down his Tucson home last year.

Jay Dobyns, a University of Arizona grad who has been promoting his recently released book about his experiences, told Diane Rehm that while the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives bills itself as the agency that deals with extreme violence, its agents have no interest in protecting their own. Still worried about the very real possibility that gangbangers will kill him or his family, Dobyns is also suing the federal government for $4 million.

The 23-year veteran agent was under federal protection, moving from place to place to avoid become a hitman's victim, when he tried to settle in a home in northwest Tucson. Last August, someone set fire to the back patio. The home burned to the ground, he told Rehm. (An Arizona Republic article from last year says the blaze consumed the rear of the home and caused $30,000 in damage). Dobyns, his wife and children got out safely.

 The ATF dropped the ball on the fire investigation, Dobyns says, allowing someone to get away with trying to hurt him.

"It's very disheartening," Dobyns says to Rehm of his dispute with the ATF. "Somebody has to stand up to the fact that federal agents, ATF agents -- when trouble comes their way -- are being abandoned and left on their own."

Dobyns says he hopes that by going as public as possible, the Hells Angels and their contract killers will think twice before trying to rub him out.

The problem is, as we see it -- he's not rich enough. Once he makes a few mil from his lawsuit, book, and potential movie, he'll be able to hire his own gang of full-time security guards.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.