http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2008/08/17/20080817dobyns0817.html Officials mum about fire at ATF agent's home 42 comments by Dennis Wagner - Aug. 17, 2008 12:00 AM The Arizona Republic Criminal investigators in Tucson put up a wall of secrecy last week after a fire that police believe was intentionally set damaged the home of a federal investigator who has faced death threats since he infiltrated the Hells Angels motorcycle club. Dawn Hanke, a Pima County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman, confirmed that deputies are investigating a blaze at the residence of Jay Dobyns, who is among the most celebrated agents in the history of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Hanke said detectives have not established whether the blaze was set by an arsonist. She declined to provide additional information. The blaze started about 3 a.m. last Sunday in the back-porch area at a house on a mini ranch in northwest Tucson, according to Willie Treatch, a fire marshal with Rural/Metro. Dobyns was not home at the time, but his wife and two children had to run outside in their nightclothes. Treatch said there were no injuries, but flames consumed the rear of the house, causing about $30,000 in damage. He would not discuss the investigation. Dobyns, an agent for two decades, declined comment for this story. The former all-conference receiver on the University of Arizona football team joined the ATF in 1987 and spent much of his career working dangerous undercover cases. He was wounded twice in the line of duty and received some of law enforcement's highest awards. Several years ago, Dobyns penetrated Hells Angels clubs in Arizona by posing as a criminal affiliated with another biker gang. The case, known as Operation Black Biscuit, resulted in numerous indictments but mostly fell apart in court amid defense allegations of wrongdoing by snitches, investigators and prosecutors. According to federal records, Hells Angels and other criminals have made threatening comments about Dobyns and his family and once sought to enlist prison-gang members to carry out a hit. As the operation ended, an outlaw biker in Tucson supposedly warned Dobyns he would always be a target, looking over his shoulder. Dobyns subsequently complained that the ATF failed to protect him and his family despite 20 years of service. He criticized bureau administrators and filed a federal claim for damages. Special Agent Tom Mangan of the ATF declined comment on the fire and would not say whether the bureau is assisting Dobyns with security. Dobyns' exploits are described in several books, and he has co-authored a new one, set for release in February. --- Hows he like it when the shoes on the other foot.