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ATF agent charged in 20-count indictment

By Carol Cratty, CNN Senior Producer
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Virginia agent indicted with wire fraud, embezzlement, money laundering
  • Man allegedly sold cigarettes that were for undercover operations

Washington (CNN) -- An agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been charged with a variety of crimes he allegedly committed while on the job, including selling cigarettes that were part of undercover tobacco investigations, according to the Justice Department.

A 20-count indictment was unsealed Wednesday against Clifford Dean Posey, 43, who appeared before a judge in Richmond, Virginia, and then was released on bond. He is charged with multiple counts of wire fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, possession of stolen firearms and making false statements.

Posey was assigned to the ATF's field office in Norfolk, Virginia. According to a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office, he committed several crimes while involved in investigations into illegal cigarette trafficking. The release says in 2010 Posey obtained the access code to a storage unit containing cigarettes that were to be used in undercover operations, and he allegedly "contacted two potential targets of the investigation and offered to undercut the negotiated ATF price."

During the same year he allegedly took cigarettes under ATF control and sold them on four different occasions, kept the profits and did not report his activities to the ATF.

Prosecutors also said that since 2007 Posey falsified documents on guns in his custody as part of his job. Posey allegedly embezzled the weapons and on at least one occasion he advertised them for sale.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office said under sentencing guidelines Posey faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison if convicted. An ATF official said when the agent's alleged actions came to light the matter was referred to the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General and Posey was suspended.