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Captcha
08-25-2010, 05:48 AM
Sorry if the DEA question has been asked before - 'DEA' is too short to search in the forums...

It's my understanding that the DEA focuses its investigations on drugs, but will go after all associated crimes, as well. So, in my story, if the DEA is having trouble catching the bad guys with the drugs, would it be reasonable for the DEA to try to find evidence of them having committed murder, instead?

And while I've got the law enforcement experts here - if the DEA had enough evidence to get a wiretap on a residential phone, would it be a factor that other people, including minors, live in the house? My suspected bad guy lives with his sister and her kids, who are not suspects in any crimes. Could their phone be tapped? Would it matter if the phone was in the sister's name?

How about freezing funds in a bank account? The suspect has been out of town for several years, and has come back and doesn't seem to be gainfully employed. How hard would it be for the DEA or local police to get access to his tax records (to see his previous employment)? If they couldn't get access to these, is there any other logical way they could know where he was working (other than asking him?). How hard would it be to get access to his banking records, including his current balance? How hard would it be for them to freeze the funds in the account, if they couldn't figure out where the money had come from and suspected that it was ill-gotten gains?

And, finally, the military question. My suspect has grown up in the Montana mountains as an outdoorsman, and then spent a few years in some branch of the military. I'd like it if whatever branch he was in would have taken advantage of his wilderness skills and maybe taught him some new ones. Suggestions?

Thanks for any help!

ETA: One more question - the Intertubes tell me that a lot of police cars are equipped with GPS trackers so that dispatch can know where every car is at any moment. Would it be realistic for a police officer to be able to easily access this information, in order to know where another cop was? (I've got a dirty cop, and I want the MC to find out that he's in a certain place.) Also, would this data be stored? Like, would the cops be able to check and see where a car was a few weeks ago at a certain time of day? Finally, would police GPS trackers be like civilian GPS, where the driver could pull the handset out of the car and leave it somewhere, or would it be built right into the car somehow? Thanks again!)

Rowan
08-25-2010, 02:25 PM
Sorry if the DEA question has been asked before - 'DEA' is too short to search in the forums...

It's my understanding that the DEA focuses its investigations on drugs, but will go after all associated crimes, as well. So, in my story, if the DEA is having trouble catching the bad guys with the drugs, would it be reasonable for the DEA to try to find evidence of them having committed murder, instead? Not exactly--see below. We don't go looking for other crimes per se... Narcotics crimes often go hand-in-hand with other crimes--Money laundering or arms trafficking, etc. Esp the latter (look up the Monzer Al Kassar or the Viktor Bout cases). But we don't go searching for another crime if we can't make a drug charge stick--if that makes any sense.

And while I've got the law enforcement experts here - if the DEA had enough evidence to get a wiretap on a residential phone, would it be a factor that other people, including minors, live in the house? My suspected bad guy lives with his sister and her kids, who are not suspects in any crimes. Could their phone be tapped? Would it matter if the phone was in the sister's name? Yes, it factors but doesn't prevent. See below re: "Minimization"...

How about freezing funds in a bank account? The suspect has been out of town for several years, and has come back and doesn't seem to be gainfully employed. How hard would it be for the DEA or local police to get access to his tax records (to see his previous employment)? If they couldn't get access to these, is there any other logical way they could know where he was working (other than asking him?). How hard would it be to get access to his banking records, including his current balance? How hard would it be for them to freeze the funds in the account, if they couldn't figure out where the money had come from and suspected that it was ill-gotten gains? If he's unemployed yet living high on hog--that's PC for warrant on accounts/records...esp if agents believe proceeds are from DT activities, etc. (see below)

And, finally, the military question. My suspect has grown up in the Montana mountains as an outdoorsman, and then spent a few years in some branch of the military. I'd like it if whatever branch he was in would have taken advantage of his wilderness skills and maybe taught him some new ones. Suggestions?

Thanks for any help!

ETA: One more question - the Intertubes tell me that a lot of police cars are equipped with GPS trackers so that dispatch can know where every car is at any moment. Would it be realistic for a police officer to be able to easily access this information, in order to know where another cop was? (I've got a dirty cop, and I want the MC to find out that he's in a certain place.) Also, would this data be stored? Like, would the cops be able to check and see where a car was a few weeks ago at a certain time of day? Finally, would police GPS trackers be like civilian GPS, where the driver could pull the handset out of the car and leave it somewhere, or would it be built right into the car somehow? Thanks again!)DEA doesn't do this w/our vehicles but not sure about local/state LE...

Hello, Kate:
This will be brief as I'm heading out to work...will answer your PM later too! :)
Okay, DEA doesn't investigate murders...we would work with the local/state PD or FBI (whichever agency has jurisdiction). In my personal experience---case where a DEA target was implicated in a number of murders, the case was worked with FBI (DC) and local PD. But we are a narcotics enforcement agency...

As for the T-III question: yes, the phone could be tapped but in these instances, when anyone other than the bad guy is using the phone, we generally don't listen/record... if the bad guy is using the phone and the conversation is obviously not related to the case or sensitive/confidential (ie., he's talking to his proctologist OR his attorney!!), then you do what is called "minimize" the call. It's tricky and that's why it takes a savvy investigator to know what to record and what to minimize. Especially if they're using slang, etc. Make sense? So in short, the kids convo's would generally be minimized. The T-III affidavit would state who and what you can record, etc. From a DOJ website:


Minimization plan: state how wiretap will be minimized, tailoring to any specific facts of investigation (e.g., potential interception of privileged conversations, e.g. attorney-client, husband-wife, doctor-patient, priest-penitent). Ask for after-the-fact minimization of coded or foreign language communications. Tailor the minimization plan for the type of intercept, i.e., wire, electronic.


A pretty good website that elaborates on minimization protocol: http://www.marylandcriminalattorneyblog.com/2008/09/wiretaps_minimization_of_wire.html (http://www.marylandcriminalattorneyblog.com/2008/09/wiretaps_minimization_of_wire.html)


"Government wire interceptions must be conducted in a manner to minimize interceptions of communications not subject to interception. 18 U.S.C. Section 2518(5). Minimization embodies the constitutional requirement of avoiding, to the greatest extent possible, seizure of conversations which have no relation to the crimes being investigated or the purpose for which electronic surveillance has been authorized."

Bank accounts are like T-IIIs...you have to jump through the legal hoops but if you've got probable cause, you can gain access and seize. We work with other agencies a lot on these types of cases (FBI/IRS)--but if you can prove the proceeds in the account are related to the crime (drug trafficking/counterfeiting, etc.) then yes, you can freeze the account and seize. As for employment, you can surveill him to work...do a trash pull...or better yet---get a confidential source (CS) in there. Most DEA cases involve CSs and we work extensively with CSs due to the nature of the job, etc.

EX: If a guy is living in a modest house but drives a 100K car, has lots of high end furniture/jewelry, goes on lavish vacations, has the kids in private school, etc. and doesn't have a job--that's PC for a search warrant on his bank statements. Living well above his means. Let's say he's a cashier at Wal Mart and the above is true...PC. So there are ways to access and seize bank accounts. Hell, in many cases, agents seize accounts, multiple houses, cars and whatnot...asset forfeiture. :)

I was in the Marine Corps so of course I'm going to suggest that! LOL I think any branch would suffice...especially if he was special forces (Marine recon, Army ranger, Navy seal, etc.) but most of those require at least a double tour, if not longer enlistment...

I'm off to work but let me know if you need clarification or have additional questions. I'm sure AW's resident attorney (Mark Esq) can elaborate on the bank account seizures!

Captcha
08-25-2010, 04:23 PM
Thanks very much - excellent information. Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but - good to know!

Rowan
08-25-2010, 04:31 PM
Thanks very much - excellent information. Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but - good to know!

Sorry! If you're trying to work out something specific, feel free to PM me and I'll see what I can do! :)

Noah Body
08-25-2010, 05:20 PM
And, finally, the military question. My suspect has grown up in the Montana mountains as an outdoorsman, and then spent a few years in some branch of the military. I'd like it if whatever branch he was in would have taken advantage of his wilderness skills and maybe taught him some new ones. Suggestions?


US Army Special Forces, but he'd have to be in the service for some time before he could apply and assess. If not SF, then he could serve as a lightfighter with the 10th Mountain Infantry Division (Light), Fort Drum, NY.

Captcha
08-25-2010, 05:48 PM
Sorry! If you're trying to work out something specific, feel free to PM me and I'll see what I can do! :)


No, you answered the right questions - I just wanted the answers to be something different! I can't blame you for not changing reality to suit the needs of my plot, though!

Stanmiller
08-27-2010, 10:45 PM
And, finally, the military question. My suspect has grown up in the Montana mountains as an outdoorsman, and then spent a few years in some branch of the military. I'd like it if whatever branch he was in would have taken advantage of his wilderness skills and maybe taught him some new ones. Suggestions?

In addition to Noah Body's most excellent suggestion of SOF or 10th Mountain, US Army Long Range Surveillance would be a possible military career for such a character. LRS people aren't SF but durn close, plus have extra training in concealment and evasion, along with the usual weapons training. The missions are usually long-duration, deep penetration intel gathering or targeting of specific enemy assets.

--Stan

Noah Body
08-27-2010, 11:34 PM
Bah, MI guys! Make the guy operational, not a guy from a spook shack somewhere. ;)

Besides, if the guy's a mountain man, stands to reason that 10 Mountain would be where he'd want to go. He probably already feels comfortable carting a pair of skis with him everywhere.

Hallen
08-27-2010, 11:44 PM
Bah, MI guys! Make the guy operational, not a guy from a spook shack somewhere. ;)

Besides, if the guy's a mountain man, stands to reason that 10 Mountain would be where he'd want to go. He probably already feels comfortable carting a pair of skis with him everywhere.

Yeah, but the Army is stupid about that kind of stuff. You can request posts coming out of basic, but I've never heard of anyone lucky enough to get stationed where they asked unless it was a hardship tour. The Army just sends you where they need bodies, luck of the draw kind of thing.

10th Mountain would be good though. Light Fighter was a bit of an oxymoron considering how much stuff those guys lug around on their backs. (light=non-mechanized go it on your own, not light=not carrying much). Ft. Lewis,WA also had the light infantry stuff, depending on what year the book is set in.

Noah Body
08-27-2010, 11:57 PM
Yeah, I know how it works when you enter into the service.

There was--still is?--25th Light out of HI, but 10 Mountain seems a higher-octane division. We were with them in Somalia, and they were a pretty good bunch of guys as far as lightfighters go.

Hallen
08-28-2010, 12:26 AM
Yeah, I know how it works when you enter into the service.

There was--still is?--25th Light out of HI, but 10 Mountain seems a higher-octane division. We were with them in Somalia, and they were a pretty good bunch of guys as far as lightfighters go.

:D

I know you know all of that Noah, I was just adding some detail. I've been out for so long that I'm starting to forget. Yes, HI definitely had a light infantry unit. My friend was stationed there. Not sure if they are still there.