Storefront Sting

An ATF Agent's Life Undercover


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About the Book

This thrilling story memorializes one of the most dangerous—and successful—series of undercover operations conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Written by the special agent who took these operations from disrupting small time fencing schemes to infiltrating major criminal organizations, this book is the first story of these secretive operations.

During the operation’s run from 2006 to 2014, Lou Valoze’s fictitious businesses allowed his team of undercover agents to take thousands of weapons out of circulation and millions of dollars of drugs off the street. Through these covert “storefront” operations, the author developed a unique investigative blueprint for removing guns from the hands of violent felons and drug dealers. This book also explores the dark reality of living a double life and how it becomes difficult to tell the difference between the good guys and bad guys.

About the Author(s)

Lou Valoze, a retired federal agent who currently serves as an instructor for law enforcement officers, spent the last two decades of his career working in an undercover capacity for high profile, complex investigations of home invasion crews, outlaw motorcycle organizations, organized crime groups and murder-for-hire schemes. He lives in Savannah, Georgia.


Brian Whitney has been a prisoner advocate, a landscaper, and a homeless outreach worker. He has written or co-authored books and articles in numerous mass market publications, as well as had many television appearances. He lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.


Bibliographic Details

Lou Valoze with Brian Whitney
Foreword by Javier Peña

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 180
Bibliographic Info: 23 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8819-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4594-0
Imprint: Exposit Books

Table of Contents

Foreword by Javier Peña 1

Introduction 3

One. Going Undercover 7

Two. Colur Tyme 19

Three. Street Theater 26

Four. Stolen Teeth 36

Five. All for One Guy 42

Six. Statesboro Blues 52

Seven. Petey 61

Eight. Operation Thunderbolt 74

Nine. The Spiderweb 82

Ten. Hiding in Plain Slight 89

Eleven. The Takedown 98

Twelve. The Russians 108

Thirteen. Wali 122

Fourteen. Operation Pulaski 129

Fifteen. The Deal Room 137

Sixteen. The Big Show 149

Seventeen. Internal Affairs 162

Eighteen. False Accusations 166

Index 173

Book Reviews & Awards

  • Storefront Sting: An Undercover Agent in ATF Front Businesses is a riveting, realistic, no-holds-barred look inside the little-known world of undercover police work, and what it takes to live and work in that unbelievably crazy environment. ATF Special Agent Lou Valoze personally led long-term ops that kept him in harm’s way for extended periods of time, years on end. While telling of these experiences, Lou also describes in detail how his heroic and lifesaving work came with a cost, nearly destroying his family and his life. A must read for anyone interested in true heroes and true crime!”—Steve Murphy, former DEA agent on whom the Netflix series Narcos was based
  • “Lou Valoze was that undercover operative that all us other Undercovers wanted to be. He was bigger, stronger, more handsome, more charismatic, more courageous and of upmost importance, smarter than the rest of us in the game. When I looked a Lou, it wasn’t with jealousy or envy, it was with admiration; pride that ‘this guy’ was on my side. In his book Storefront Sting: An Undercover Agent in ATF Front Businesses, for someone of Lou’s natural assets and track record of overwhelming achievement, to openly discuss his flaws and mistakes, doesn’t diminish him in my eyes, it elevates him. Ego and self-confidence are key elements to the personalities of high-achieving UCs. Lou checks his at the door revealing to us his inner demons and providing the raw insight to his covert world that enhances his credibility, dignity and integrity.”—Jay Dobyns, a retired ATF agent, author of No Angel: My Harrowing Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels, and Catching Hell: A True Story of Abandonment and Betrayal.