Case focuses on if ATF targeted blacks

? A judge in Wichita has granted more time for motions over a federal firearms sting that lawyers for some of the defendants claim was racially motivated.

At least 43 of 51 people facing federal charges from the sting operation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are black. Defense lawyers are seeking to have indictments dropped, arguing the investigation targeted African-American men.

U.S. District Judge Monti Belot had planned to hear evidence Tuesday. Instead, he gave attorneys a week to file motions on whether defense lawyers may question two federal agents.

The government argues the claim of a racially motivated prosecution is baseless. Defense lawyers note the ATF’s bogus pawn shop was located in a neighborhood with one of the city’s highest concentrations of African-Americans.