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Nononana
10-15-2013, 03:04 AM
So in the case of a violent rape or assault of a single individual by a first time offender, if the suspect leaves the country, does the FBI automatically get pulled in right away?

There is a lot of crime and bad guys to chase, so I am wondering does every crime that crosses state borders and international borders get worked by the FBI or do they have to use greater discretion than that due to limited resources?

cornflake
10-15-2013, 03:31 AM
So in the case of a violent rape or assault of a single individual by a first time offender, if the suspect leaves the country, does the FBI automatically get pulled in right away?

There is a lot of crime and bad guys to chase, so I am wondering does every crime that crosses state borders and international borders get worked by the FBI or do they have to use greater discretion than that due to limited resources?

Worked how? I mean the DOJ can file a warrant, might call local cops and/or Interpol if they know exactly what they're looking for and where but I'm not sure what else you're looking for them to do. Also, yes, they have a lot to do.

Nononana
10-15-2013, 03:57 AM
I'm not expecting them to do much like personally spend tons of man hours tracking this one person down, I am trying to gauge a realistic response. Particularly from the perspective of the victim. I see people on FBI wanted lists that seemingly have not done the huge things I often associate with the FBI, so I just want to make sure when I casually mention facts I am not overreaching nor underestimating involvement.

Besides putting out a warrant, would they likely come in and speak with the victim, or would they mostly just work with the detective who already interviewed her for information?

I assume they would also contact Interpol as you mentioned to see if they can get any leads where they believe the suspect may have gone.

Would the local detective mostly be relaying the updates to the victim?

jclarkdawe
10-15-2013, 05:05 AM
What does your plot need? There is a range here from a non-extradite warrant to a full-blown manhunt.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

raelwv
10-15-2013, 05:18 AM
Another thing to keep in mind - if the suspect has been charged/convicted and then fled, s/he would be a fugitive, which falls under the US Marshal's Service. They assist in hunts for fugitives based on state crimes as well as fed folks.

Nononana
10-15-2013, 05:51 AM
Lots of food for thought!

As far as plot, I need him to leave the country and be out of site for a great deal of the book. The main characters will believe he is no longer a threat because he is on the run. He will reappear, but this is much later and under another identity (without going to deep into the plot, unbeknownst to the MCs he has been living under an alias for several years). Upon his return to the US, he'll be dead before law enforcement ever gets their hands on him. So I don't need a big bust or anything like that, I just need a man on the lamb who is desperate.

As far as charges: He commits crime, flees the country very shortly after to Brazil. They suspect from there he may flee to any South American country by bus or car and thus will be difficult to track.

The police have him entering the premises on camera and his DNA at the scene. So he leaves before they can press charges, but they believe the case is a slam dunk and his fleeing doesn't make him look innocent.

This story is a subplot and so I don't need to go into tremendous detail, but the story is first person from the victim's perspective. I want to make sure the people she is in touch with and her experience is believable enough not to raise eyebrows.

So far I have her working with a Detective, but where I am sort of stuck is when the Detective gets word that the suspect has fled the US, what does he tell the victim? Will FBI be in touch with her? Will the Detective stay in touch with her and work with the FBI on her behalf? I assume local police still stay on the case to some degree while still seeking assistance from the FBI (possibly Interpol).

cornflake
10-15-2013, 06:09 AM
Lots of food for thought!

As far as plot, I need him to leave the country and be out of site for a great deal of the book. The main characters will believe he is no longer a threat because he is on the run. He will reappear, but this is much later and under another identity (without going to deep into the plot, unbeknownst to the MCs he has been living under an alias for several years). Upon his return to the US, he'll be dead before law enforcement ever gets their hands on him. So I don't need a big bust or anything like that, I just need a man on the lamb who is desperate.

As far as charges: He commits crime, flees the country very shortly after to Brazil. They suspect from there he may flee to any South American country by bus or car and thus will be difficult to track.

The police have him entering the premises on camera and his DNA at the scene. So he leaves before they can press charges, but they believe the case is a slam dunk and his fleeing doesn't make him look innocent.

This story is a subplot and so I don't need to go into tremendous detail, but the story is first person from the victim's perspective. I want to make sure the people she is in touch with and her experience is believable enough not to raise eyebrows.

So far I have her working with a Detective, but where I am sort of stuck is when the Detective gets word that the suspect has fled the US, what does he tell the victim? Will FBI be in touch with her? Will the Detective stay in touch with her and work with the FBI on her behalf? I assume local police still stay on the case to some degree while still seeking assistance from the FBI (possibly Interpol).

He enters and his DNA is there isn't, by any means, a slam dunk for a rape case. Why do they have his DNA, just btw?

Presuming there's enough for a warrant, the DOJ can issue one. They're not likely going to talk to her, no, the detective would. The DOJ barely does anything to catch murderers they know are guilty who ran off and are easy to find.

melindamusil
10-15-2013, 06:27 AM
IANAL so take this with a grain of salt...

I remember, back during the Edward Snowden fiasco, reading several articles about where a criminal should go if he want an absolute guarantee of not getting picked up by the US govt. Just because there is no extradition treaty between the US and (for example) Brazil is not a slam dunk of escaping - the only places where you could be guaranteed that you wouldn't be arrested/extradited would be nations like Cuba or North Korea or maybe Iran. However, in practice, unless your crime is particularly heinous/famous, the government probably isn't going to use lots of resources to find that criminal. He'd be extra secure if he's in a location that doesn't have good law enforcement or that is hard to reach (like in the jungle).

As far as what the detective would tell the victim - again, IANAL, but I think there's a way for them to "flag" a passport with immigration (aka ICE). Obviously that's of limited use once he has left the country, but I think they can put his name/passport on a list that is given to our allies (i.e. nations with extradition treaties). If he attempts to travel into any of those allied nations, or just passing through their airports, he can be picked up. (Or at least that would be the soothing thing the detective tells the victim - I think it's really a fairly sloppy system at best.)

jclarkdawe
10-15-2013, 07:05 AM
Fleeing can be used as evidence of guilt.

So we have a run-of-the-mill rapist. Serious enough for an extradite within the US warrant, but not really that exciting. He skips a required court hearing or a probation hearing, which indicates that he's flown the coop. Bail will be revoked and the court will issue an arrest warrant. Arrest warrant is entered into the system and it's pretty much and wait and see what happens. Most fleeing criminals are caught through other contact with police, like a traffic stop.

However, let's give you an ambitious investigating officer who is annoyed by him skipping. The officer hears that the guy may have fled the country. Officer contacts the State Department and asks for a check of passport records. When he left the country and arrived in Brazil is fairly easy to track with that information and all by computer.

However, once he leaves the airport in Brazil, unless he makes phone calls to a known address in the US and/or uses his credit card, he effectively disappears. (A computer can monitor those two things.) Without a whole hell of a lot more information, other then letting Brazil know he's in their country, there's not much anyone is going to do. The government would also put a flag on his passport, so that if he uses that, it would show up immediately.

I had a client with a nasty assault charge who had doubts about my ability to defend him. (Can't blame him, the police had a good case.) Decided that showing up for court was not in his best interests. Left the state and disappeared for about 2 and half years. No active search, no checking on his calls to mom (which he did make, but I didn't know until after he was arrested). Finally got picked up out of state when he was hit in a fender-bender. Whoops.

Search for disappearing criminals isn't really as dramatic as you'd think from watching TV.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Nononana
10-15-2013, 07:37 AM
Fleeing can be used as evidence of guilt.

So we have a run-of-the-mill rapist. Serious enough for an extradite within the US warrant, but not really that exciting. He skips a required court hearing or a probation hearing, which indicates that he's flown the coop. Bail will be revoked and the court will issue an arrest warrant. Arrest warrant is entered into the system and it's pretty much and wait and see what happens. Most fleeing criminals are caught through other contact with police, like a traffic stop.

However, let's give you an ambitious investigating officer who is annoyed by him skipping. The officer hears that the guy may have fled the country. Officer contacts the State Department and asks for a check of passport records. When he left the country and arrived in Brazil is fairly easy to track with that information and all by computer.

However, once he leaves the airport in Brazil, unless he makes phone calls to a known address in the US and/or uses his credit card, he effectively disappears. (A computer can monitor those two things.) Without a whole hell of a lot more information, other then letting Brazil know he's in their country, there's not much anyone is going to do. The government would also put a flag on his passport, so that if he uses that, it would show up immediately.

I had a client with a nasty assault charge who had doubts about my ability to defend him. (Can't blame him, the police had a good case.) Decided that showing up for court was not in his best interests. Left the state and disappeared for about 2 and half years. No active search, no checking on his calls to mom (which he did make, but I didn't know until after he was arrested). Finally got picked up out of state when he was hit in a fender-bender. Whoops.

Search for disappearing criminals isn't really as dramatic as you'd think from watching TV.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

This is what I was hoping for and hoping to work into my plot. My book is not about a man on the run, so I don't want to spend to much time on the details of it or make a huge orchestration out of it.

The guy is not an idiot, so while I know he could be extradited, he is going to land in Brazil and disappear for a while (much like your client described). I figured (and it looks like correctly) since he is not a serial killer or some organized crime kingpin, it's not worth the resources to track him unless he gets back on the grid or slips as some others have also mentioned in their responses.

Cornflake- I might have been too brief with that. Maybe overstated with a slam dunk but she is beat up, surveillance video of him entering/fleeing her building in accordance with timeline of events, fingerprints on broken items in the house, and so forth. Enough to get her pressing charges on him.

This helps a ton all. Thanks!

ironmikezero
10-15-2013, 09:54 PM
Lots of good advice here... I'll offer a few points in clarification.

If the offender has been identified and there is sufficient probable cause, then a felony warrant would be issued by the court of appropriate jurisdiction. The warrant would be entered by the original investigating agency in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC - http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/doj/fbi/is/ncic.htm) with available identification data. The vast majority of LE agencies have access to that database and routinely check suspects for active warrants. That includes Homeland Security, ICE, Border Patrol, state & locals, etc. That's how a lot of people get caught in circumstances unrelated to the original offense.

Federal agencies, that might not have primary or statutorily mandated jurisdiction, can get involved in a number of ways, but most often are simply asked to help (by the lead investigator with his/her agency's approval). If the FBI is approached, they typically seek a federal warrant charging the suspect with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution (UFAP - 18USC1073), which will also be entered in NCIC. Of course, the effort expended by the FBI beyond that will be dependent upon the resources available at that time (with the current and consuming focus on terrorism, their plate is understandably very full).

As another federal alternative, the original case agency (state/local/municipal) can submit a felony/extraditable case for adoption to the regional US Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force (USMS/FTF) who will hunt the suspect on a global scale so long as the original warrant stays active (and in the system).

If your story needs no more than the potential threat of federal involvement - absent an overt international hunt - I'd recommend going the FBI/UFAP route with the vague understanding that this case may not be high priority and subsequently merit significant (if any) dedicated resources.

Best of Luck!

Nononana
10-16-2013, 02:12 AM
Lots of good advice here... I'll offer a few points in clarification.

If the offender has been identified and there is sufficient probable cause, then a felony warrant would be issued by the court of appropriate jurisdiction. The warrant would be entered by the original investigating agency in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC - http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/doj/fbi/is/ncic.htm) with available identification data. The vast majority of LE agencies have access to that database and routinely check suspects for active warrants. That includes Homeland Security, ICE, Border Patrol, state & locals, etc. That's how a lot of people get caught in circumstances unrelated to the original offense.

Federal agencies, that might not have primary or statutorily mandated jurisdiction, can get involved in a number of ways, but most often are simply asked to help (by the lead investigator with his/her agency's approval). If the FBI is approached, they typically seek a federal warrant charging the suspect with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution (UFAP - 18USC1073), which will also be entered in NCIC. Of course, the effort expended by the FBI beyond that will be dependent upon the resources available at that time (with the current and consuming focus on terrorism, their plate is understandably very full).

As another federal alternative, the original case agency (state/local/municipal) can submit a felony/extraditable case for adoption to the regional US Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force (USMS/FTF) who will hunt the suspect on a global scale so long as the original warrant stays active (and in the system).

If your story needs no more than the potential threat of federal involvement - absent an overt international hunt - I'd recommend going the FBI/UFAP route with the vague understanding that this case may not be high priority and subsequently merit significant (if any) dedicated resources.

Best of Luck!

Thank you for the further detail, this confirms the route I was hoping to go!