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Criminal Resource Manual

107. Federal Investigative Agencies

The Department of Justice is targeting violent criminals, including gang-related offenses, and the FBI is one of the leading agencies to fight this type of crime in the federal arena. Other federal agencies such as the Immigration and Naturalization Service have expressed their intent to focus on violent offenders in investigations through the implementation of violent gang task forces. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is another agency which can provide valuable investigative tools for the prosecution.

Task forces made up of federal, state and local agencies can be formed to identify and focus investigative efforts at the most violent gangs. Many United States Attorneys' Offices work closely with such task forces on targeting the prosecution of serious violent offenders, including juveniles and gangs for drug and firearms charges, and violations of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) related offenses.

Federal agencies are working together with state and local law enforcement to combat gang and drug related violence. An effective example is the "Safe Streets Violent Crimes Initiative" introduced by the FBI in January, 1992. It is designed to allow FBI field offices to establish long term, proactive task forces focusing on violent crimes. The FBI utilizes federal, state and local officers in cooperative fashion to identify and target violent street gangs for prosecution. These task forces apply investigative techniques and strategies successfully used to fight organized crime with the development of an intelligence base, undercover operations, and application of electronic surveillance techniques. Federal law even provides reimbursement to state and local law enforcement for their participation in FBI sponsored "Safe Streets" task forces.