WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ A federal judge has rejected defense claims
that a firearms sting using a bogus pawn shop in a heavily black
Wichita neighborhood was racially motivated.
U.S. District Judge Monti Belot refused Thursday to dismiss
indictments stemming from the months-long undercover operation by
the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The sting resulted in federal drug and firearms charges last
year against 51 people _ 43 of them black, four white and four of
Defense attorneys argued the storefront targeted black males
because it was located in a part of Wichita where blacks accounted
for 33 percent of the population. The percentage of blacks citywide
is about 11 percent.
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