The VCMO team is primarily focused on organized crime and bank robbery. Typical investigations include gangs, mafia and drug trafficking. Gangs are active in 40 states and DC. The FBI’s National Gang Strategy is to investigate, disrupt and dismantle violent gangs. Gangs have a hierarchical structure with leaders and defined roles and operations. Accordingly, the FBI focuses on prosecuting gang leadership to “cut the head off the snake”. Gangs use sophisticated technology to secure their communications (e.g. cell phone encryption, wire detectors, spy gear, codes and ciphers). The FBI uses safe streets programs and violent gang task forces to disrupt their operations. The FBI maintains SWAT teams and is well equipped to arrest violent criminals.
The FBI is famous for solving armed bank robberies. Bank robberies account for 50% of all robberies. Typically $5,000 or less is stolen. The FBI also investigates kidnapping, extortion, cold case homicides, serial killers and interstate domestic violence.
5. Evidence Response Team (ERT)
An ERT has all the capabilities of a Crime Scene Investigations unit and more. ERTs work federal crime scenes (e.g. Indian reservations, national parks and terrorist events). ERTs have investigated cars, violent bank robberies, plane crashes, 9-11 and bomb incidents.
When a crime scene is discovered, the area is cordoned off to preserve evidence. ERTs follow well-defined procedures when processing a crime scene. Anyone entering the scene is signed in and must wear a Tyvek suit to prevent contamination (e.g. hair from an Investigator). A photographer takes pictures before Investigators enter, during evidence collection and upon exit. Footprints can be captured by photograph or plaster cast. Vacuum canisters with filters are used to collect small particles such as hair or clothing fibers. DNA evidence is detected with Alternate Light Source equipment. Investigators also lift latent fingerprints and use rods with laser pointers to trace bullet trajectory.
The FBI investigates any commuter plane crash. When processing a crash, ERT sifts through debris fields and searches for black boxes. Survey equipment is used to produce a three dimensional map of the crime scene. Each ERT has the support of sophisticated labs at the FBI headquarters in Washington DC.
6. Civil Rights Program
The FBI investigates a variety of civil rights violations. Hate crimes are motivated by bias against persons or property based on race, religion or ethnic/national origin. Housing discrimination, church burnings and voting rights violations are classified as hate crimes.
Color of law abuses occur when a public official uses their authority to deprive someone of a right protected by US laws or the constitution. Color of law violations are obvious (e.g. the Rodney King arrest).
Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery. The FBI prosecutes anyone responsible for capture, detainment or transportation of a person for labor, through the use of force, fraud or coercion.
7. Polygraph/Profiling Program
By subscribing to our early morning news update, you will receive a daily digest of the latest security news published on Help Net Security.
With over 500 issues so far, reading our newsletter every Monday morning will keep you up-to-date with security risks out there.