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  • Questions about different federal agencies

    Hello everyone, I hope you are all having a good new years, or you all had a good new years depending on where you're reading from

    OK- Let me get to the point. I am curious about the different federal law agencies, mainly ICE, ATF, and FBI.
    So, from reading on these agencies' websites, on wikipedia, etc, I have not gotten to a good consensus. ICE is a part of DHS. Apparently ICE has parts that investigate terrorism. I thought that was the FBI's job? ICE seems like a cool agency. Do they look for illegal immigrants and then deport them? Is that it? Or do they do other stuff?
    And regarding ATF, what exactly do they investigate about tobacco and alcohol? And apparently they investigate explosives, like bombs, so then isn't that the FBI's job if it's terrorism?

    All of these hundreds of agencies really confuse me.. haha I hope one of you guys can explain this because I sure don't get it.

  • #2
    Originally posted by dmitchell View Post
    Hello everyone, I hope you are all having a good new years, or you all had a good new years depending on where you're reading from

    OK- Let me get to the point. I am curious about the different federal law agencies, mainly ICE, ATF, and FBI.
    So, from reading on these agencies' websites, on wikipedia, etc, I have not gotten to a good consensus. ICE is a part of DHS. Apparently ICE has parts that investigate terrorism. I thought that was the FBI's job? ICE seems like a cool agency. Do they look for illegal immigrants and then deport them? Is that it? Or do they do other stuff?
    And regarding ATF, what exactly do they investigate about tobacco and alcohol? And apparently they investigate explosives, like bombs, so then isn't that the FBI's job if it's terrorism?

    All of these hundreds of agencies really confuse me.. haha I hope one of you guys can explain this because I sure don't get it.
    Ohh jeez, where to even begin with this one. If I were a dick I would tell you to go read the wikipedia page on each agency, but I would like to think of myself not to be a dick.. So, I figure I'll just got down your list of questions.

    Yes, ICE Special Agents do investigate acts of terrorism through assigned agents to the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) which are all directed by the FBI. But, as of 911, nearly all LEO agencies primary focus became terrorism.

    Every agency has specific statutory authority which normally gives them unique powers. Congress writes the laws and specific agencies will have sole or shared authority over those laws.

    -FBI has Title 28 which allows them the unique authority to investigate all federal laws that are not already assigned to other agencies. They also have the unique ability to perform investigations on tribal lands without needing to meet the native american blood requirements. They also rely upon Title 18 which is most of the crimes and criminal procedures statues.

    -ICE Criminal Investigators, specifically related to investigations, have uniquely Title 8 (All Immigration laws), and Title 19 (Customs Laws). They also are cross-designated to investigate all Title 21 laws (Most Drug related statutes; and are primary on Sub-Chapter 2 of Title 21), Title 18, Title 31, and a few others. By far ICE Special Agents have become one of the most universal criminal investigators since they investigate such a wide range of topics. You can work money, drugs, weapons, computer related sex crimes, terrorism, alien smuggling, fraud, counterfeit merchandise, exportation laws, etc etc. Basically, they have primary jurisdiction over anything or anyone that crosses the U.S. border inbound or outbound and also all aliens. ICE in general also has other LEO positions that will handle more of the administrative sections of Title 8 which is the removal of illegal aliens. Special Agents (S/A's) do not go hunting down an illegal alien just because they are here illegally. There will need to be some other reason to go after them. ICE S/A's may conduct some work site enforcement and round up multiple illegal aliens at one time but that's not their primary mission. Agents will use their Immigration authority to assist them in making criminal cases.

    -ATF, well their speciality is enforcing all firearms related crimes, arson cases, and criminal explosives. They will have some cases overlap with FBI's terrorist cases, but they should technically let each other pursue the part of the investigation they normally are experts on. For example a FBI agent may not use a specific firearms violation all that often even though they have the authority to use the law. A ATF agent may have specific knowledge and experience building cases with that law so they know the elements and know what they will need to successfully prosecute it. So the FBI may let then handle that aspect all the way through court and once the case is successfully prosecuted the FBI will jump into what they specialize in, that is taking credit and the spotlight for the cameras and media afterwards j/k, well sort of.

    I hope this helps. This is just a broad overview to help you understand. Anyone feel free to correct any of this information if wrong.
    Last edited by CBPO I; 01-01-2011, 03:42 AM.

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    • #3
      They also have the unique ability to perform investigations on tribal lands without needing to meet the native american blood requirements.
      This is actually not unique to the FBI. BIA, FWS, and others which have a nexus to crimes on the res can also investigate violations in indian country without meeting with the tribes or having agents with Native American status.
      "Sir, does this mean that Ann Margaret's not coming?"

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      • #4
        Its easy to explain, most federal agencies have specific sets of laws that they enforce. DEA has dope, ATF has guns and bombs, IRS has money and taxes, OIGs are fraud and waste. Some have multiple missions and laws they enforce like USSS does protection and forgery, ICE has immigration and customs and everything that comes with those.

        The FBI is different, they have nothing they specialize in, but are involved in everyone else's specialty. I guess you could say terrorism is theirs, but they aren't even part of the department that was created to protect America from terrorists. Which brings me to my next point, the FBI is a PR machine. There is no reason for there to even be an FBI these days other than Hollywood has made the FBI famous and they try to keep themselves in the headlines. Everything they investigate falls under other agencies' authority.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by madchiken View Post
          There is no reason for there to even be an FBI these days.
          Bank Robbery, Crimes that cross state lines (aka Interstate Crimes), Espionage, white collar crimes that reach the Fed Level, public corruption, civil rights, organized crime, Hobbs Act, RICO, etc.......

          Who else does those with full authority at the Fed level.....?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by GreenLine View Post
            This is actually not unique to the FBI. BIA, FWS, and others which have a nexus to crimes on the res can also investigate violations in indian country without meeting with the tribes or having agents with Native American status.
            To be BIA you must have a certain percentage of native American blood. I wasn't aware of FWS's authority, but I suppose it makes sense. Do their 1811s need to have native blood to actually enforce laws on their lands? Because I know FBI received there's through a treaty.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by CBPO I View Post
              To be BIA you must have a certain percentage of native American blood.
              I think they dropped that.... There are a bunch of guys in the BIA thread being hired as uniformed officers and they all can't have Native American blood in them......

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Bearcat357 View Post
                I think they dropped that.... There are a bunch of guys in the BIA thread being hired as uniformed officers and they all can't have Native American blood in them......
                BIA dropped the Native American blood requirement several years ago. They still prefer to hire tribal members but they have been hiring a lot of non-tribal people to BIA LE positions, especially since BIA LE is growing in numbers.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bearcat357 View Post
                  Bank Robbery, Crimes that cross state lines (aka Interstate Crimes), Espionage, white collar crimes that reach the Fed Level, public corruption, civil rights, organized crime, Hobbs Act, RICO, etc.......

                  Who else does those with full authority at the Fed level.....?
                  Espionage is not the sole responsibility of the FBI, actually there are specialized elements of CIA, DIA, NCIS, OSI and others that are the tough ferrets. White collar crimes cross over most of OIG depending on the fraud, but all are in the sights of the IRS CI. Public Corruption is again the preview of the federal money that flows to that individual, so again not specifically FBI. Most public corruption cases are made by IRS CI.
                  "From now until the end of the world, we and it shall be remembered. We few, we Band of Brothers. For he who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother." - William Shakespeare ("King Henry V")

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dmitchell View Post
                    ICE is a part of DHS. Apparently ICE has parts that investigate terrorism. I thought that was the FBI's job? ICE seems like a cool agency. Do they look for illegal immigrants and then deport them? Is that it? Or do they do other stuff?
                    Looks like you need to sharpen up your reading skills, Mr. Mitchell. Immigration work would fit the "I" in ICE, but you missed the second half of their mission (customs) which accounts for the "C" in their name.


                    Originally posted by dmitchell View Post
                    And regarding ATF, what exactly do they investigate about tobacco and alcohol? And apparently they investigate explosives, like bombs, so then isn't that the FBI's job if it's terrorism?
                    Good example of what is called a "turf war" in investigative jurisdiction.
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wildlife97 View Post
                      BIA dropped the Native American blood requirement several years ago. They still prefer to hire tribal members but they have been hiring a lot of non-tribal people to BIA LE positions, especially since BIA LE is growing in numbers.
                      Ahh, good to know. I haven't looked at one of their announcements in years. I'm surprised the tribes allowed it... probably because of the difficulty finding people with enough blood that want to do that job.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Scout0315 View Post
                        CIA
                        They are not a LEO agency.....they are purely Intel....


                        Originally posted by Scout0315 View Post
                        DIA, NCIS, OSI

                        .mil.... How do they have authority over civilans that have no nexus to the military...?

                        Originally posted by Scout0315 View Post
                        White collar crimes cross over most of OIG depending on the fraud IRS CI.
                        I realize you agency (or soon to be agency....not sure of your status) and the OIGs do a lot of fraud.....but from my experience with the Federal Court system, FBI does a lot of it still......perhaps not like they use to since Terrorism is one of their main missions now.....but they still do a lot...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bearcat357 View Post
                          They are not a LEO agency.....they are purely Intel....





                          .mil.... How do they have authority over civilans that have no nexus to the military...?



                          I realize you agency (or soon to be agency....not sure of your status) and the OIGs do a lot of fraud.....but from my experience with the Federal Court system, FBI does a lot of it still......perhaps not like they use to since Terrorism is one of their main missions now.....but they still do a lot...

                          The nexus comes from the basic element of espionage, whose secrets the subject is trying to steal.

                          CIA does have commissioned LEOs in their physical security division and OIG. Their 1811s look specifically for people miss handling or purposely exploiting classified information.

                          The FBI has lost their lead status, for example a health care fraud case that I am on. The “case agent” is a HHS OIG SA, with two IRS CI SA and one civil RA (financial side), and one FBI agent.

                          I am not promoting the thought the FBI is not important, there role has just shifted. Even bank robbery has shifted more to locals (with fed creds) then to true FBI SA.

                          I am just trying to illustrate that they are far from the only actor on the stage.

                          PS: Thanks for remembering, I have been on the books with IRS CI since January 2010, coming on my first anniversary and bump up
                          "From now until the end of the world, we and it shall be remembered. We few, we Band of Brothers. For he who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother." - William Shakespeare ("King Henry V")

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Scout0315 View Post
                            CIA does have commissioned LEOs in their physical security division
                            I do realize that....but they are only doing (for the most part) FP/AT stuff at CIA HQ and doing the EP mission to VIPs abroad..... They aren't actively going out and kicking doors in......

                            Originally posted by Scout0315 View Post
                            and OIG. Their 1811s look specifically for people miss handling or purposely exploiting classified information.
                            Just for the CIA.....they aren't going after others....

                            Originally posted by Scout0315 View Post
                            The FBI has lost their lead status, for example a health care fraud case that I am on. The “case agent” is a HHS OIG SA, with two IRS CI SA and one civil RA (financial side), and one FBI agent.
                            They have always tried to get away from that stuff (in my opinion) since there are other agencies out there doing the stuff with my expertise. If a case had national implications......or had a terrorism nexus....they'd damn sure be in the middle of it and hosting the Press Conference before anyone knew what the hell was going on.....

                            Originally posted by Scout0315 View Post
                            Even bank robbery has shifted more to locals (with fed creds) then to true FBI SA.
                            Not around here. The last 3-4 we've had out here the FBI is lead with HPD helping......

                            Originally posted by Scout0315 View Post
                            PS: Thanks for remembering, I have been on the books with IRS CI since January 2010, coming on my first anniversary and bump up
                            I do pay attention....

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                            • #15
                              .mil.... How do they have authority over civilans that have no nexus to the military...?
                              There's not a lot of really scary espionage out there that does not involve the Military in some way.

                              (Who do you think protects the secret recipe for Coke?)

                              M-11
                              “All men dream...... But not equally..
                              Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it is vanity;
                              but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
                              for they act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.....”

                              TE Lawrence

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