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February 2003

Volume 72
Number 2
United States
Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Washington, DC 20535-0001

Robert S. Mueller III


Director

Contributors’ opinions and statements Features


should not be considered an
endorsement by the FBI for any policy,
program, or service.
The attorney general has determined
that the publication of this periodical is
necessary in the transaction of the
public business required by law. Use Connecting Drug The connection between drug
of funds for printing this periodical has
been approved by the director of the
Office of Management and Budget.
Paraphernalia to Drug Gangs 1 paraphernalia and drug gangs can
aid law enforcement agencies in
By Robert D. Sheehy the battle against drug distribution.
The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin and Efrain A. Rosario
(ISSN-0014-5688) is published
monthly by the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, 935 Pennsylvania The Violence of Hmong Hmong gangs use the crimes of rape
Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.
20535-0001. Periodicals postage paid
at Washington, D.C., and additional
Gangs and the Crime of Rape 12 and prostitution more and more to gain
control of communities.
mailing offices. Postmaster: Send By Richard Straka
address changes to Editor, FBI Law
Enforcement Bulletin, FBI Academy,
Madison Building, Room 209, Consent Once Removed It is possible to make a warrantless
Quantico, VA 22135. By Edward M. Hendrie 24 entry to arrest a suspect based on
consent to enter given previously to
Editor an undercover officer or informant.
John E. Ott
Associate Editors
Cynthia L. Lewis
David W. MacWha
Bunny S. Morris
Art Director
Departments
Denise Bennett Smith
Assistant Art Director
Stephanie L. Lowe
7 Perspective 17 Book Review
Staff Assistant
Linda W. Szumilo
Uniform Definition of Confronting Gangs
Gang-Involved Crime
This publication is produced by 18 ViCAP Alert
members of the Law Enforcement
Communication Unit, Training Division. 11 Crime Data Unsolved Sex Crime
National Crime
Internet Address Victimization Survey 20 Focus on Communications
leb@fbiacademy.edu The Pen and the Sword
Cover Photo
© brandXpictures

Send article submissions to Editor,


FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, FBI
Academy, Madison Building, Room
209, Quantico, VA 22135.

ISSN 0014-5688 USPS 383-310


Connecting Drug Paraphernalia
to Drug Gangs
By ROBERT D. SHEEHY and EFRAIN A. ROSARIO

© PhotoDisc

he trail of drug parapherna- outlets as a means to locate, iden- focused on the second type of store,

T lia can lead investigators to


illicit drugs and drug gangs.
The FBI in Baltimore, Maryland,
together with the Maryland State
tify, and disrupt (or dismantle) large
drug organizations operating in
the greater Baltimore metropolitan
area.
typically known as “cut or vial
stores.” Their inventory includes
diluents, adulterants, and other
products used by drug organiza-
Police, U.S. Customs Service, The Shop Light investigation tions to measure, separate, convert,
DEA, Internal Revenue Service, recognized that two types of illegal dilute, adulterate, and package
Baltimore City, Baltimore County, paraphernalia stores operated in the drugs in bulk quantities that drug
and Howard County Police Depart- region. However, the investigation gangs then sell.
ments put this concept to the test. ignored the first type of store, com-
From April 1997 through February monly referred to as “head shops,” UNDERSTANDING
2000, these agencies conducted an because their inventory, although il- THE CONNECTION
investigation targeting drug para- legal, consists of products designed In April 1997, investigators
phernalia outlets. Known as “Shop for the end user (addicts) to ingest found 30 businesses in the city of
Light,” this investigation used the drugs. Instead, the investigation Baltimore engaged in the sale of

February 2003 / 1
accomplish the cutting and packag-
ing of illegal drugs. This fact is ex-
ploited by the shops, which greedily
share in the drug proceeds by charg-
ing extraordinary mark ups, ranging
up to 2,500 percent over the cost of
items sold. Evidence from cooper-
ating subjects revealed that shop
owners also would advance para-
phernalia to their larger drug cus-
tomers and await payment until af-
ter the drugs were sold.
Special Agent Sheehy is Trooper Rosario serves with Based upon this view, one ob-
assigned to the Baltimore, the Maryland State Police. jective in the Shop Light investiga-
Maryland, FBI office. tion was to seriously impact the
paraphernalia industry after first
using the industry to eliminate mul-
tiple drug gangs. The U.S. Attor-
drug paraphernalia to area gangs. inability to present adequate testi- ney’s Office in the District of Mary-
With the exception of just a few of mony of the illegal nature and use of land decided to charge the more
the businesses, the sale of parapher- the paraphernalia. significant paraphernalia subjects
nalia accounted for nearly all of the Investigators should not con- with Conspiracy to Aid and Abet
revenue received by the shops. A sider paraphernalia stores as an iso- the Distribution of Drugs and En-
review of law enforcement records lated industry, separate and distinct gaging in Continuing Criminal En-
revealed that police already knew from drug gangs. In fact, these terprise (CCE) as more reflective of
about the stores and, in fact, had stores fill an absolutely essential their involvement than mere viola-
raided most of the stores, some on role with each drug gang that pa- tion of paraphernalia laws. This
more than one occasion. Nearly all tronizes such a store. For example, a case marked the first use of the CCE
of the prior raids failed to result in kilogram of raw heroin, purchased statute when the underlying viola-
meaningful prosecutions, with most in New York for distribution in Bal- tion involved paraphernalia.
of these cases being stetted or nolle timore, is essentially worth little
prossed. Those that authorities pur- more than its cost upon arrival at STRUCTURING THE
sued resulted in a fine and probation Baltimore in its raw form. How- INVESTIGATION
before judgment. The subjects con- ever, when diluted (gangs in Balti- Initially, investigators must de-
sidered the prosecution merely an more favored mannitol and qui- termine what diluents/adulterants
inconvenience and simply the price nine), the drug gang will realize (cut) and packaging materials drug
of doing business. Further investi- an increase in weight to approxi- gangs operating in their territory fa-
gation discovered that even those mately 8 kilograms of heroin at a vor. Debriefing such individuals as
offenders successfully prosecuted 13 percent purity level, ready for drug subjects, sources, and local
in the past immediately reopened packaging and sale. At a very mini- police officers should provide loca-
their stores and continued business mum, the gang will gross a sixfold tions of cut and vial stores from
as usual. Two central themes ap- return over the cost of the original which drug organizations secure
peared in the ill-fated cases: first, an kilogram. their supplies. Another source of
apparent lack of understanding of In short, the paraphernalia information concerning the where-
the essential and contributory role industry acts in concert with the abouts of these stores includes the
played by these stores in the dis- drug gangs, facilitating drug distri- manufacturers of some of the items,
tribution of drugs and, second, an bution by supplying the means to such as gelatin capsules.

2 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin


Once investigators locate the cooperation. Passive (covert) use of cooperating store owner may pre-
stores, they should have sources or the stores occurs when investigators dict the arrival of certain drug sub-
undercover officers make small establish surveillance without the jects, thereby making surveillance
purchases of drug paraphernalia to knowledge of store owners/manag- more productive.
observe the outlets’ operations. Af- ers. And, of course, investigators Regardless of the approach, the
ter analyzing the information ob- may choose to approach some store objective remains the same, to fol-
tained during debriefings, investi- owners, securing their cooperation, low drug dealers to their “safe” or
gators then can formulate an while conducting surveillance at “stash” houses where they store
investigative strategy. Next, inves- other stores without involving the drugs, weapons, cash, documents,
tigators need to answer some impor- owners/managers. and other items of value to the in-
tant questions. vestigation. The most compel-
• How many outlets are ling reason for monitoring para-
operating in the area and phernalia stores is that the drug
when are they open? dealers themselves are indicat-
ing a recent receipt of raw drugs
• Can investigators identify by making purchases of para-
the largest outlets and does phernalia. Following the para-
paraphernalia sales account phernalia will lead investigators
for the majority of their directly to the nerve center of
business? the gang. Experience gained in
• Should authorities put some Shop Light determined that
of the smaller outlets and drug gangs do not stockpile or
those where legitimate keep inventories of diluents and
business is greater than packaging, rather they purchase
paraphernalia sales out of the those items on an as-needed ba-
“cut game?” Continuous raids The Shop Light investigation sis. Investigators found that this
that seize the products each obtained positive results using both paraphernalia resupply, on aver-
time the store restocks para- overt and covert approaches. Obvi- age, occurred on a 2-week cycle,
phernalia will force it to ously, cooperation from the store timed with the purchase of raw
discontinue the sale of those owner/manager simplifies selection drugs.
items. of which drug gangs to investigate.
Owners can rank their customers Overt Approach:
• Which stores are located in based upon the quantities of cut and Owner Cooperates
areas that investigators can packaging purchased, as well as the Investigators can obtain the co-
surveil, including the use of frequency at which they make pur- operation of some store owners for
closed-circuit television under chases. If owners do not know the economic reasons. Some will prefer
certain conditions? true names of customers, they often to assist investigators as a means to
If the answers to these ques- know their street names and usually continue reaping the profits from
tions reveal that cut/vial shops are can supply pager numbers, as well their business, rather than face clo-
in operation, the most important as vehicle descriptions. If a gang sure, loss of income, and criminal
question for investigators then be- frequents a store, the owner may charges. However, absent prior con-
comes the selection of an approach. restrict certain products for its use tact indicating that a paraphernalia
The conduct of the investigation alone, such as a specific color of shop owner will cooperate, investi-
can be overt, covert, or both. That gelatin capsule or small plastic gators first should make a case
is, aggressive (overt) use of the resealable bags bearing a specific against the store before “quietly”
shops involves approaching the stamp. By offering special pricing approaching the owner away from
store owners and securing their discounts or restricted packaging, a the business. Indeed, the case

February 2003 / 3
against the store and owner already about it. They could not warn their future use against other gangs. Fur-
may exist, for the most part, by a customers, fearing a loss of profits, ther, most judges will not consider
drug subject currently cooperating and they could not complain to au- following a package from a store,
with investigators. Moreover, in- thorities because they were attempt- even a known cut shop, sufficient
vestigators should substantiate ing to create an air of ignorance as probable cause to issue a search
statements relative to the store to the actual use of the products. warrant in the case of the covert
owner’s knowledge of the drug surveillance. The affidavit would
dealer’s use of the products by a RAIDING THE DRUG GANGS expose the cooperation of the store
consensual covert recording in the Experience has shown that owner/manager in the overt
store. The store owner’s coopera- where members take the package of method. Normal investigative pro-
tion is more likely forthcoming if paraphernalia is the central hub cedures will develop the probable
the individual believes that investi- (safe house) for the gang. Here, the cause necessary to raid the safe
gators are ready to raid the business. gang stores significant amounts of house.
drugs, cash, and other such items as During Shop Light, investiga-
Covert Approach: weapons and records. Surveillance tors frequently developed probable
Owner Unaware of that location will identify the hi- cause to support a search warrant by
In this approach, investigators erarchy of the organization, includ- retrieving trash containing packag-
conduct surveillance of customers ing many individuals not involved ing wrappers for paraphernalia dis-
away from a cut store using an arbi- in the actual street sales of drugs. carded from the identified safe
trarily applied factor, such as fol- house location, intercepting the de-
lowing anyone carrying an agreed- livery of drugs from the stash house


upon size bag or box from the store. when transported to a worker at a
Investigators can use this approach site where the drugs were sold, and
only when drug paraphernalia sales Experience has stopping departing vehicles a dis-
account for nearly all sales made shown that where tance away from the house if a legal
from the store or if the parapherna- reason existed. In many instances,
lia sales can be readily distin-
members take the investigators developed the requi-
guished from legitimate sales (e.g., package of site probable cause to support a
if the only legal merchandise in the paraphernalia is the search warrant in a matter of hours
store is tires or bicycles). Because central hub (safe after identifying the gang’s safe
no one within the store is assisting house) for the gang. house. Some of the surveillances
investigators, establishing surveil- identified subjects of ongoing in-


lance without detection poses the vestigations conducted by other
largest problem. The Shop Light in- agencies. Shop Light investigators
vestigation employed remote-con- contacted officers from these agen-
trolled “pole cameras” to relay ac- The only people allowed into this cies who then assumed investiga-
tivity at the shop to a monitoring site while the drugs are being pre- tive responsibility from the Shop
site. The monitor would then broad- pared for distribution are the most Light team at the safe house. In each
cast to surveillance units the physi- trusted members of the gang. case encountered, the investigating
cal and vehicle descriptive informa- Probable cause to raid a gang’s agency had not previously identi-
tion for individuals meeting the central hub or safe house must be fied the location.
agreed-upon prerequisite. drawn from facts that investigators As a cautionary note, while
Shop Light investigators deter- develop after identifying its loca- conducting the initial surveil-
mined that even when some shop tion. This occurs primarily to lance away from the cut store,
owners learned of the surveillance, protect the technique of ongoing investigators must not get too
they were powerless to do anything surveillance of the cut shop for aggressive. It is better to lose the

4 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin


subjects than to needlessly expose • the prior criminal history of produced a prosecutable
the surveillance. The subjects will the store owner; drug case; and
return to the store on future dates to • the assets possessed by the • whether the owner conducted
purchase additional diluents/adul- store owner; regional/national sales via
terants and packaging, and investi- mail order or Internet
gators might have better luck with • the amount of business in par-
aphernalia conducted by each advertising.
the surveillance at that time.
store and legitimate versus
CLOSING THE STORES illegitimate sales proceeds; EXAMINING THE RESULTS
After using the paraphernalia • whether a store was involved The Shop Light investigation
stores to locate and eliminate as in retail, wholesale, or a resulted in the arrests of approxi-
many gangs as deemed worthwhile, combination of sales; mately 80 significant drug dealers.
the final action should be to close • whether the owner exercised Investigators seized multiple kilo-
the shops. Depending upon the control over other stores, grams of heroin and cocaine, weap-
number of stores and the evidence including material stocked ons, cash, and vehicles usually
collected against each, authorities or prices charged; within hours of the first sightings
will have to decide between fed- of the drug dealers. Twenty federal
eral or state prosecution. Criteria • whether weapons were seized indictments of drug parapher-
used in deciding which venue to from the business; nalia distributors, four of whom
use for the Shop Light investigation • whether surveillance of were charged with the minimum
included— subjects away from a store mandatory 20-year CCE violation,

Paraphernalia Items Sold by Baltimore Cut Stores

Diluents/Adulterants Miscellaneous Items Packaging Components


Mannitol/Mannite Scales (electronic and Gelatin capsules
Quinine mechanical) Vials and stoppers
Lidocaine Strainers and sifters Jugs and screw caps
Procaine Grinders Small resealable plastic bags
Benzocaine Glassware (e.g., bongs Glassine envelopes
and rose stem tubes)
Vitamin B blend
Detox pills and drinks
Caffeine
Capsule-filling trays
Asteroid Rock, Bolivian
Rock and Comeback Heat-sealing machines
Inositol Stash safes
Lactose Pipe screens
Niacinamide Single-edged razor blades
Ascorbic acid Protective equipment (e.g.,
breathing masks and gloves)

February 2003 / 5
were handed down along with numerous spin-off drug investiga- members of numerous drug gangs
25 state indictments of other drug tions to include international sub- and identifies the gangs’ principle
paraphernalia distributors. The in- jects importing drugs into the operating locations in a minimum
vestigation also closed 30 Balti- United States. of time without relying upon unpre-
more area businesses engaged in dictable informants. Concentrating
paraphernalia sales, a California CONCLUSION on the trail of drug paraphernalia
chemical wholesaler specializing in The Shop Light investigation leads to those who traffic in such
the national distribution of diluents offers a technique that other law illicit substances, provides a means
and adulterants, and an importing enforcement jurisdictions may de- of uncovering illegal drug opera-
company that distributed diluents sire to implement. The approach tions, and shows those involved in
along the east coast of the United represents another proven method these criminal activities that no as-
States used in selling 40,000 that agencies can employ in the pect of the drug trade will be safe
pounds of heroin at street-level battle against drug distribution. A from the scrutiny of law enforce-
purity with a volume of drug major benefit of using this tech- ment agencies dedicated to ridding
sales approaching $1 billion. In ad- nique is that it produces instant society of the scourge of drug
dition, Shop Light resulted in identification of the upper echelon abuse.

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6 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin


Perspective
Addressing the Need for problem and the extent of gang-related crime. What
can the law enforcement community do to remedy
a Uniform Definition of this?
Gang-Involved Crime
By Mike Langston THE IMPORTANCE OF UNIFORMITY
“The definition problem is not trivial. How to
define a youth gang is one of the most contentious
A key issue in combating youth gangs is providing a issues in the field of youth crime. Policymakers, law
uniform definition for them, distinguishing them from enforcement personnel, social service agencies,
troublesome youth groups and adult criminal researchers, and other groups have not been able to
organizations.1 reach consensus on this issue over the past 25 years,
and current efforts to reach this goal have thus far met
with only limited success. There is little disagreement
among those who study or deal with gangs that the

“A group must be involved in a pattern of


criminal acts to be considered a youth
gang. These groups typically are composed of only
juveniles, but may include young adults in their
availability and widespread use of a uniform defini-
tion would be extremely useful for a variety of
important purposes, but few are willing to relinquish
and replace the definitions that have become estab-
memberships.”2 “A criminal street gang refers to three lished within their agencies and are intimately related
or more persons having a common identifying sign or to agency operations....”6 Herein lies the issue that can
symbol or an identifiable leadership who continuously lead to vagueness, conflict, and denial, without a
or regularly associate in the commission of criminal uniform gang-involved crime definition.
activities.”3 “A street gang is a cohesive group, with With these difficulties in mind, the author sug-
most members between the ages of 11 and 21, that has gests a uniform gang-involved crime definition that
a recognizable geographical territory (usually defined
with graffiti), leadership, a purpose, and various
levels of organized continuous course of criminal Lieutenant Langston serves
activities.”4 with the Aurora, Illinois,
These three examples of what constitutes a gang Police Department.
illustrate the variety of definitions of the term. With
the surge in gang-involved criminal activity over the
past 20 years, it would seem likely that the law
enforcement community would have a commonly
recognized definition for what typically is called
gang-related or gang-motivated crime. The need for
such a definition within the community would appear
obvious on its face. However, a review of published
books, articles, and law enforcement policies revealed
that no uniform definition used openly articulates
what constitutes a gang-involved crime.5 Rather,
considerable differences existed in what the law
enforcement profession considers as gang-related or
gang-motivated crime. Such variations in definitions
and reporting characteristics can lead to inaccurate
and unreliable gang-related crime statistics, which, in
turn, can distort any national estimate of the gang

February 2003 / 7
he believes can consider both the gang member-based • Corrections facilities would better understand
and activity-based issues. Adoption of a uniform incoming inmates and their gang involvement,
policy would benefit the entire law enforcement if any.
community in several ways. For these reasons, as well as others, the law
• All in law enforcement could communicate in the enforcement community should address the need for
same “definition language” and would understand a uniform gang-member definition. A set of defini-
what someone from another agency meant when tions—open enough to encompass all of the relevant
referring to a gang member or a gang-involved criteria, yet specific enough for courts to accept and
crime. uphold—incorporated into a model operational policy
• Law enforcement officers would better under- could offer a workable and practical solution for
stand their own agency’s policy on gang-member classifying gang members and gang-involved crime.
and gang-involved crime definitions and could A MODEL POLICY
apply those definitions when documenting gang
reports and investigating gang-involved crime. The author offers this policy as an example of
addressing the current need for a uniform definition
• Officers could provide more for gang crime and gang members
complete and accurate infor- and to outline a set of working
mation in police reports, guidelines for the law enforcement
improving the content and
accuracy of police records.
• Databases from different
agencies could share informa-
“Adoption of a uniform
policy would benefit
the entire law
community. The definitions
include, but are not limited to,
members and associates of crimi-
nal street gangs, criminal motor-
tion in common terms, reduc- cycle gangs, criminal hate groups,
enforcement and criminal extremist groups.
ing confusion about whether a community in
person is a gang member and
in which, if any, jurisdiction.
several ways. Definitions
• Criminal gang: A group of
• Trainers could communicate
the same information when
instructing law enforcement
personnel on gang awareness, identification,
” people following a common code
of conduct, having common
beliefs and identifiers, existing
in a semistructured organization or hierarchy,
investigation, prosecution, and prevention. and attempting to accomplish their goals through
Training materials would cover the same informa- criminal activity.
tion and criteria.
• Criminal gang member/associate: A person
• Commonality would exist when discussing gang involved with a criminal gang who either bears a
members or gang-involved crime with prosecu- tattoo that represents a specific gang or states his
tors, thereby aiding in the case presentation at or her membership in a specific gang. In addition,
trial for motive (common design) and method a combination of two or more of the following
of operation, as well as sentencing proceedings. items can establish criminal gang association in a
• Courts and juries would better understand the specific criminal gang and two or more of these
testimony of expert witnesses on the issue of gang on three or more occasions can establish criminal
members and gang-involved crime as departmen- gang membership in a specific criminal gang:
tal, or even state or federal, law enforcement wears clothing that contains the colors or symbols
operating guidelines would document the expla- of a specific criminal gang; exhibits jewelry that
nations given by these witnesses. represents a specific criminal gang; displays hand

8 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin


signs or other gestures or speaks a slogan of a division. The supervisor also should include any
specific criminal gang; associates with known relevant information for immediate street operations
criminal gang members at established criminal planning on the appropriate shift pass-along informa-
gang locations or hangouts; and has information tion file in the computer system. This information
meeting any of these criteria verified by a law then becomes available for crime suppression opera-
enforcement agency. tions planning by patrol and special operations
• Gang-involved crime: Any criminal acts, includ- supervisors when applicable.
ing but not limited to those, involving gang Training
members or gang associates committed for the
benefit or furtherance of any criminal gang or All officers should receive training on gang
analyzed by a law enforce- awareness and identification. Training objectives
ment officer with specialized © PhotoDisc should provide relevant infor-
training in identifying mation on—
criminal gang associates, • definitions of a criminal gang,
members, or gang activity criminal gang member/associate,
based on a reasonable appli- and gang-involved crime;
cation of that specialized • legal issues addressing criminal
knowledge who can articulate gang member/associate identifica-
facts that indicate criminal tions, field stops, and investiga-
gang involvement. tions;
• criminal gang identifiers and
Reporting Instructions
common types of criminal gang
Agencies should classify activities;
criminal incidents that involve a
person or activity that meets the • locations typically used by
definitions for a criminal gang, criminal gangs; and
criminal gang member/associate, or gang-involved • effective street investigation tactics and tech-
crime as a gang-involved crime. A gang-involved niques for criminal gang activity and gang-
crime report must have the appropriate boxes (crim- involved crime.
inal gang member/associate involved as a victim,
suspect, or complainant; criminal gang identifiers Information Sharing
involved; and criminal gang activity involved) Information sharing is critical to effective law
checked in the gang-involved crime section of the enforcement planning. Agencies should use gang-
report. involved crime information for analysis purposes,
The incident report should document all known including, but not limited to, crime-occurrence
details and facts of criminal gang members/associates mapping, crime statistics, crime patterns and trends,
or criminal gang activity involved in the incident. In police resource allocation, crime suppression plan-
the event that the incident does not require a report, ning, and community-oriented policing direction.
officers should document the information on a Agencies should produce daily gang information
criminal gang member/associate information form bulletins based on the review of gang-crime incident
or an investigative information report. In either case, reports, criminal gang member/associate information
officers should submit these documents to their forms, investigative information reports, and other
supervisor for approval. After approval, the supervi- relevant data. They can use these bulletins, docu-
sor forwards the documents to the records division for mented in the shift information computer file, not
data entry and then to the appropriate investigative only for in-services but every day throughout each

February 2003 / 9
shift. They also can use them in planning crime sup- submitting them to and processing them through the
pression operations and for crime analysis. In addi- proper division for analysis. Supervisory personnel
tion, agencies should review current crime-mapping would determine the practicality of distributing any
printouts at in-services, along with any relevant crime information gained through these interviews and the
analysis information. appropriate recipients for use in planning, scheduling,
Crime analysts should compile weekly, monthly, operations, and investigations.
quarterly, and annual reports and distribute them to all
supervisory and command-level personnel, along with Legal Issues
statistical reports showing comparisons of historical This model policy serves as a set of guidelines for
patterns, current levels, and future forecasts of defining, classifying, and processing criminal gang
potential trends. These reports should serve to keep crime information. The collection, documentation,
a continuous flow of information on gang-involved analysis, and distribution of any information always
crime available for resource allocation, operations would be within the applicable laws and procedures.7
planning, and response effectiveness evaluations. Agencies should address any questions on proper
Supervisors should review all action through their training divi-
documentation closely and assure sions, supervisors, or command-
that all relevant information is level officers who would decide
included and formatted properly.
Accurate information collected,
documented, processed, and
analyzed in a timely fashion
“ All officers should
receive training
the appropriate action or obtain
further direction from their legal
departments or advisors.
on gang CONCLUSION
greatly enhances effectiveness in
planning and scheduling and in
awareness and There appears to be as many
investigations and other opera- identification. definitions for gang-related or
tional considerations. This infor- gang-motivated crime as there are
mation establishes a strategy to
focus daily, weekly, and long-term
goals to drive an agency’s efforts
to reduce gang-involved crime. It also serves to
” different law enforcement agen-
cies in the United States. Such a
quandary does little to help the law
enforcement community reduce the ever-increasing
evaluate these efforts and to adjust the plans and threat of gangs and their criminal activities. By agree-
operations for peak performance. ing upon a uniform definition of what constitutes a
criminal gang, what describes a person as a member/
Investigations associate of a gang, and what unlawful acts comprise
To gather as much gang-related information as gang-involved crime, the law enforcement profession
possible, agencies should endeavor to interview every can begin the difficult, but not impossible, task of
criminal gang member/associate arrested. These in- reversing the current menace that has engulfed many
terviews would be in addition to any criminal case of America’s young people and their communities.
investigation interviews in an attempt to gain addi- Additionally, a model policy that incorporates a
tional gang-related information or to corroborate broad range of criteria and gives the criminal justice
current gang-involved crime data. Interviewers should system a workable, comprehensive classification of
concentrate on learning about gang hierarchies, gang members and gang-involved crime can lead to
leadership, membership, meeting information and a truer picture of the gang problem in America and
locations, criminal activities, rivalry, and any other focus resources on this growing concern. The dedi-
relevant criminal gang information. cated officers who strive daily to rescue young people
Officers would document all information gained from the clutches of gang membership and who
from these interviews on the appropriate forms, duly also see the ravages inflicted upon the victims of

10 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin


gang-involved crime deserve the support of a law world), the author conducted research on this matter and submitted his
findings in a paper for a futuristics course. He reviewed a large amount
enforcement community united in its effort to combat
of literature on the subject, including studies conducted by the U.S.
gangs and their criminal activities. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention, and research done by the Police Executive Research Forum.
Endnotes He also surveyed several of his fellow National Academy attendees
1
James C. Howell, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice concerning the policies and procedures that their agencies employed in
Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Youth classifying gang-involved crime. He based this article on the results of
Gangs: An Overview (Washington, DC, August 1998), 15. his research.
2 6
Ibid, 1. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of
3
Deborah Lamm Weisel and Ellen Painter, U.S. Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, The Growth of Youth Gang
Justice, National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Police Problems in the United States: 1970-1998 (Washington, DC, April
Executive Research Forum, The Police Response to Gangs (Washington, 2001), 7-8.
7
DC, 1997), 14-15. For additional information, see Lisa A. Regini, “Combating Gangs:
4
Chicago Crime Commission, Gangs: Public Enemy Number One The Need for Innovation,” FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, February
(Chicago, IL, 1995). 1998, 25-32; and Daniel L. Schofield, “Gang Congregation Ordinance:
5
While attending the National Academy (the FBI hosts four 10-week Supreme Court Invalidation,” FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, September
sessions each year for law enforcement executives from around the 1999, 28-32.

Crime Data

National Crime Victimization Survey

T he U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has announced that the
nation’s violent crime rate fell 10 percent in 2001, continuing a trend observed since 1994.
Violent victimization and property crime rates in 2001 are the lowest recorded since the National
Crime Victimization Survey’s inception in 1973. There were an estimated 44 million personal and
household crimes that year, compared to 24.2 million during 2001.
In 2001, there were approximately 18.3 million property crimes (burglary, motor vehicle theft,
and household theft) and 5.7 million violent personal crimes (rape, sexual assault, robbery, and simple
and aggravated assault). The decline in violent crimes in 2001 was attributable primarily to a drop in
simple assaults.
According to victim self-reports, most male victims of violence were victimized by strangers,
whereas the majority of females were victimized by someone they knew. About 1 in 3 victims of
violence faced an offender armed with a weapon; 1 in 11 victims of violence said the offender had
a firearm. Firearm use in crime has significantly declined; it accounted for 12 percent of all violent
crime in 1994 and 9 percent in 2001. Additionally, between 1993 and 2000, FBI murder data show
a decrease of 42 percent in the per capita rate of murder, a drop from 9.5 murders per 100,000 U.S.
residents to 5.5 per 100,000 residents.
The report, “Criminal Victimization 2001, Changes 2000-2001 with Trends 1993-2001" (NCJ
194610), was written by BJS statistician Callie Rennison. It may be obtained from the BJS clearing-
house at 1-800-732-3277 or from the BJS Web site at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/cv01.htm.

February 2003 / 11
The Violence of Hmong Gangs
and the Crime of Rape
By RICHARD STRAKA
© Saint Paul Police Department/Minnesota Gang Strike Force

T hroughout the United represents a particular concern to teenage friends who played on a
States, the number of the law enforcement profession and soccer team. At the time, the major-
Hmong gangs and the level requires a special focus to find ways ity lived in housing projects and
of their criminal activity is increas- of decreasing its occurrence. To this banded together to protect them-
ing in severity. Their participation end, the law enforcement commu- selves and other Hmong youth from
in criminal activity has evolved nity must examine the unique struc- the racism occurring in their
over time. During that evolution, ture of Hmong gangs, including schools and neighborhoods. Even-
they have become involved in a their historical and cultural influ- tually, some members of the Cobra
wide range of crimes, such as homi- ences, and the characteristics of the soccer team became involved in
cides, gang rapes, prostitution, “ritual” use of rape by these gangs crimes, leading to the evolution of
home invasions, burglaries, auto and the impact on the victims.1 the Cobra gang. These crimes
thefts, and, most recently, the sale started out as fights, thefts, and
and distribution of illicit drugs. Exploring Hmong other minor crimes, but soon led to
The crime of rape, however, Gang Structure more serious crimes, such as auto
with its violent nature, its strong The Hmong gangs started form- theft and aggravated assault.
incorporation into the gang’s opera- ing in St. Paul and Ramsey County, Around 1988, some 10- and 11-
tional structure, and the serious Minnesota, in the mid-1980s.2 The year-old Hmong youths wanted to
implications for the victim and first Hmong gang in Minnesota, the become members of the Cobra
the overall Hmong community, Cobra gang, began as a group of gang. After being told that they

12 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin


were too young, they decided to Oroville Mono Boys, Purple Broth- violent threat to people who are
start their own gang, the White Ti- ers, and Oriental Ruthless Boys. not members of gangs. The most
gers. The White Tiger gang was, This violence primarily resulted frequent and violent crimes against
perhaps, the first Hmong gang to from the abundant availability of nongang members are rape and
break into gun shops to obtain guns within the gangs and the need prostitution.
weapons. They would steal a car, to “save face” by not backing down Since 1997, authorities have re-
drive it through the front door of a or showing weakness to a rival ceived reports of several gang
gun shop, and have individuals go gang. rapes, kidnappings, prostitution
into the store, break the glass out of Moreover, Hmong gangs have rings, and other violent sexual as-
the gun cases, and scoop guns (usu- considerable mobility. It is not un- saults involving Hmong gang mem-
ally only semiautomatic handguns) common for gang members to drive bers. The majority of the victims in
into a bag. In just a few minutes, from California to North Carolina, these incidents are juvenile Hmong
the gang could acquire 20 to 30 stopping en route to visit fellow females. For example, during the
guns. With these weapons, the gang members in other states, such fall of 1997, St. Paul officers con-
White Tigers became the first of the as Minnesota or Wisconsin. Many ducted an investigation involving
active and violent Hmong gangs in times, these gangs transport guns to members of three Hmong gangs
Minnesota. another state and commit crimes in meeting juvenile Hmong females
In addition to these two gangs, transit. Because of this mobility, on the “G-Line” (a message service
several others, such as the Oroville law enforcement agencies investi- using an access code where indi-
Mono Boys, Oriental Ruthless gating these gangs must maintain a viduals can leave messages and oth-
Boys, and Asian Crips, exist in high level of communication to ef- ers can listen to them). Mainly used
Minnesota and throughout the fectively track gang activity. by gang members who would call
country. These gangs, comprised of and disrespect rival gangs, the ser-
many members, operate in Califor- Understanding the Role of Rape vice also attracted young females
nia, North and South Carolina, In addition to their violent ten- who would call to listen to the mes-
Rhode Island, Washington, Oregon, dencies toward rival gang members, sages. In such cases, some of the
Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, and the Hmong gangs also present a victims, 12 to 15 years old, arranged
Wisconsin.
Because Hmong gangs are not
as organized as African-American
and Hispanic gangs in leadership
and rank structure, their members
do not need to ask a leader for per-
mission before committing a crime.
In fact, some members of the gang
may not know that their own mem-
bers have perpetrated a crime.
“ ...gang rapes and
prostitution of
young females
In addition, Hmong gangs often are happening
resort to violence, as was the case in everywhere, not
the St. Paul/Minneapolis area dur- just in large cities.
ing the summer of 1999. Within


about a 6-week period, at least 22
reported shootings resulted in two
deaths and 14 injuries. The majority
Sergeant Straka serves with the
of these shootings occurred among St. Paul, Minnesota, Police Department.
four rival gangs, the White Tigers,

February 2003 / 13
to meet the gang members from the investigation, officers discovered gang and were not threatened by its
“G-Line.” The victims went will- several other victims who agreed to members. The rest were lured, kid-
ingly with the males, but, in one come forward. Investigators identi- napped, and forced into unwilling
case, the victim was kidnapped. The fied a total of 33 victims between participants. The gang held the vic-
girls thought that they were just January 1997 and April 1998. The tims against their will, repeatedly
going for a ride or to a party. In- gang had held the victims anywhere raped them, and forced them into
stead, gang members took them to from 2 days to 3 months. prostitution. Gang members dis-
an attic of a garage or a house, The lead investigator stated that played guns and beat and threatened
turned off the lights or put a blanket the case was so large that officials those victims who tried to leave.
over their heads, and raped them. had to pursue it in three phases.3 In These cases represent just a
The gang members called this “do- the first phase, the grand jury small number of the known and re-
ing the Ninja” as the victim could handed down 350 indictments on 14 ported gang rapes occurring across
not identify who had sexually as- suspects. Eleven of the suspects the country involving Hmong street
saulted her. Several different cases, pled guilty and received sentences gangs. What makes these cases so
with multiple victims, occurred ranging from 17 to 31 years in similar is that the victims were
over a period of time. However, the afraid to come forward and, in most
first victims did not report the as- cases, did so reluctantly. Also, other


sault until several days later, and the victims in the cases would not come
other victims had to be located and forward. One of the reasons for this
asked to make police reports. Gain- reluctance to come forward was
ing the trust of the victims and The most frequent fear of the gang members because
working in the Hmong community and violent they had produced guns, talked
eventually led authorities to arrest crimes against about the “shootings” they had been
and obtain convictions of eight nongang members involved in, and threatened to as-
members of three different gangs. sault the victims or kill their fami-
While other such incidents oc- are rape and lies if they talked. After the victims
curred in Minnesota, the mobility of prostitution. were raped, they feared being
Hmong gangs resulted in similar shunned by members of their fami-


crimes in other states. For example, lies who now would consider them
in Warren, Michigan, several mem- “damaged” or having “shamed”
bers of a Hmong gang were arrested them. This reaction stems from the
for repeatedly raping teenage girls prison. Two other gang members Hmong culture, which values vir-
who they had held prisoner for got 280 years and 4 months and 94 ginity before marriage. If a girl is
nearly 3 weeks. The gang had years and 4 months, respectively, in raped, others in the Hmong commu-
kidnapped some of the girls and prison. The second phase consisted nity may look down on her. The
also had transported others from of the grand jury handing down a gang members also used this belief
state to state and prostituted them. 323-count indictment and several of to their advantage. They told the
The victims came from Minnesota, the suspects pleading guilty. The victims that they were no good to
Wisconsin, and Michigan. third phase included 9 victims and their families and that the gang was
Also, authorities in Fresno, 20 suspects, in which the grand jury now their family. “There is a double
California, uncovered a similar case handed down an 826-count indict- standard for Hmong girls, the blam-
when the first three victims, 12- ment. Several suspects pled guilty ing and shame is big, and the girls
to 14-year-old Hmong girls, came and others were found guilty. The give up when they see they are not
forward in April 1998. Members lead investigator also said that dur- getting support from their family
of the gang held the girls for 2 days ing the 2-year investigation, 10 per- and the community.” 4 Some of
at a local motel. After further cent of the victims stayed with the the victims stayed with the gang

14 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin


members even after they were • separate the females from the whether a crime occurred, they
raped. They felt that they had no- males and from each other (the should make every effort to
where else to go because they females may be more afraid of ensure that they properly
feared their own families more than the police than of the males identify everyone, including
the gang members. with them); photographing the people in-
These gang rapes and prostitu- • ask the females their names, volved and the surroundings).
tion of young females are happen- maybe more than once (they When assigned a gang rape or
ing everywhere, not just in large may lie because they are afraid prostitution case involving a
cities. “There is a market out there to go home, or they may be Hmong female victim, the investi-
for young girls, and the Hmong runaways); gator may face difficulties. The in-
community is not seeing this, they cident may have happened days or
are not acknowledging it.”5 • ask the females how long they weeks earlier and little or no evi-
have been with the males in dence may exist. The victim may be
Investigating Hmong the room, how they know a runaway or may have left home
Gang Rapes them, and where they met the willingly with a group of unknown
Due to their violent behavior, males; males or gang members. Regard-
high degree of mobility, and broad © © Mark C. Ide less, investigators must trust the
level of contacts around the coun- victim, gain her trust, and not ques-
try, Hmong gangs require law en- tion her judgment in allowing her-
forcement agencies to practice self to become a victim or not re-
quality tactics and maintain ad- porting the incident in a timely
equate communication when con- manner. The victim not only has
ducting investigations. One of the been sexually assaulted and threat-
most important aspects in the inves- ened but also faces possible cultural
tigation of a gang rape involves consequences. One 12-year-old
what the street officer does at the victim stated, “I was given two
scene. The street officer may not choices; the gang would kill me if I
even know that a crime has oc- talked, or I could just keep hanging
curred or may believe that some ju- out with the gang members and they
veniles only have been drinking. All could have sex with me when they
officers have responded to calls wanted.” She also said that she was
where they encounter a group of afraid to tell anyone because, being
young males and females who have Hmong, she was afraid of what her
been drinking at a house or a motel. • question the males about who parents would do to her. She felt
The difference in incidents involv- they are and how they know as though her parents would blame
ing Hmong females with older the females; her for getting raped, yell at her, hit
males is that there probably has her, or, worse, kick her out of the
• search the room for evidence
been more happening than just house.
of sexual assaults, including
drinking. Officers on the scene of To conduct a thorough investi-
condom wrappers, condoms,
such incidents should— gation and to be respectful of the
and blood on the mattresses;
• compare the ages of the victim, investigators should con-
females to the ages of the • check the motel records to sider several factors. They may
males (11- to 13-year-old determine who rented the have to talk to the victim several
females in a room with adult room; and times, just to get new information
or teenage males indicates a • note and photograph any gang and to gain her trust. Only one per-
problem); graffiti (if officers are unsure son should interview the victim,

February 2003 / 15
usually someone who has gained she did the right thing by coming cases of Hmong gang rapes and
the victim’s trust. If it can be forward. prostitution. Networking among
avoided, a male Hmong officer Even after the investigation law enforcement agencies through-
should not interview the victim. concludes, other people, such as de- out the country is imperative due to
The Hmong officer can help iden- fense attorneys and members of the the mobility of Hmong gangs. More
tify the suspects, but the victim may Hmong community, will scrutinize important, understanding the
hesitate to discuss the matter with a the victims. The effects of the crime Hmong culture and the role of the
Hmong male. The investigator on its victims may be minimized or gangs in the community and follow-
should attempt to find help from the viewed as typical teenage behavior. ing the specific guidelines for in-
Hmong community for the victim After the guilty charges in the vestigation will equip the law en-
and her family. Also, according to Fresno case, the local newspaper forcement profession to better
the lead investigator of the Fresno, reported comments, such as “A address the needs of the victims in-
California, cases, investigators bunch of kids were doing the wrong volved in gang rapes and prostitu-
should “recognize the impact of thing. It was a big party, a moving tion. Working with the victims will
threats, violence, retaliation, length summer party. You blame some- bring the perpetrators to justice and
of time held, prostitution, culture body else, I’m not saying these guys ultimately put a stop to Hmong gang
issues, and overall condition of the are all these innocent angels. rapes.
victim. Keep these issues in mind
when starting to interview. These


Endnotes
victims have been severely trauma- 1
The author based this article on the
tized. Remember that everyone knowledge he has gained during 10 years of
shows or reacts to a situation differ- working in the Hmong community as a street
ently. Don’t go into the interview
...Hmong gangs officer and investigator. He has talked to
expecting the victim to act in any have hundreds of Hmong gang members in custodial
and noncustodial situations and investigated
certain way.”6 considerable numerous crimes involving Hmong gangs,
In prostitution cases, it may mobility. including homicides, assaults, rapes, and
prove difficult to identify the pimps prostitution rings.
2
Originally from China, some Hmong left


and to obtain evidence. The pimps due to persecution and traveled to Vietnam and
are Hmong who usually only offer Laos around 1740. They fought alongside U.S.
the girls to other Hmong, often troops and rescued downed pilots during the
older members of the community. war in Vietnam. This alliance resulted in
They’re not. They’re gang mem- persecution by the Vietnamese government, and
They bring the victims to unknown bers, but certainly forcible rape, to many Hmong immigrated to the United States,
locations or motels, as well as trans- me, is out of the question. The girls first settling in California, Minnesota, and
porting them to other cities and themselves were gang members, Wisconsin. With additional families immigrat-
states. ing to America, at least 36 states now have
too, a lot of people disagree with the Hmong populations.
One of the most difficult as- girls for charging the boys with rap- 3
Detective Brenda Trobaugh, Fresno,
pects of the investigation is keeping ing them. We, as parents, would California, Police Department.
the victim from disappearing. Many want to put them both into jail. Not 4
Na Ly Yang, executive director of
of these young Hmong girls have Women’s Association of Hmong and Lao, in
everyone believed the girls.”7 Al- St. Paul, Minnesota.
been runaways. After they do come though cultural issues may inter- 5
Ibid.
forward, they are under opposing fere, prosecution of these cases 6
Supra note 3.
pressure from the police, suspects, must continue. 7
These comments from various individuals
friends, and family members. Inves- connected with the case appeared in the July 14
Conclusion and 15, 2000, issues of the Fresno Bee.
tigators must maintain almost
constant contact with the victim Law enforcement can more ef-
and continue to reassure her that fectively investigate and prosecute

16 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin


Book Review

Confronting Gangs: Crime and the Curry and Decker draw from their own
Community by G. David Curry and Scott H. experiences and gang member interviews to
Decker, Roxbury Publishing Co., Los Angeles, discuss what gangsters may face during their time
California, 1998. in that subculture. While street gangs come in a
Confronting Gangs: Crime and the Com- variety of shapes and sizes, most lack any real
munity provides the gang investigator or police organization or structure. However, the authors
administrator with an easily understood overview recognize important exceptions, such as the
of important topics relevant to criminal street Gangster Disciples and other Chicago-based
gangs. The authors draw from their own experi- gangs, which are well organized. They identify
ences, a wide range of previously conducted violence as an important part of a gang’s makeup.
studies, and gang member interviews to explain Violent acts committed against the gang call for
the often-confusing world of gangsters and those retaliation, which leads to a circle composed of
who attempt to work with them. The book con- more violent acts. As a result, gang members are
cludes with a number of suggested prevention more likely than nongang members to be victims
or intervention methods available to agencies or perpetrators of assaults. Fear of violence then
confronted with either existing or emerging gang becomes a unifying factor for gangsters.
problems. The authors identify members and discuss the
Developing a realistic law enforcement roles and leadership of street gangs. They inter-
strategy to deal with gangs must start with a good viewed gangsters about leaving the street gang
definition of what constitutes a “gang.” The book and dispel one popular myth: most gangsters
points out the problems a jurisdiction can experi- simply leave the gang when it is appropriate for
ence by denying or failing to understand a gang them. Curry and Decker indicate that most street
presence in its community. Confronting Gangs gangs hold meetings, often on an irregular basis.
employs diverse sources to reach a widely appli- They describe leaders as resembling “captains of
cable composite description for a criminal street sports teams” whose roles can change quickly.
gang. Using the guidelines given in this descrip- Law enforcement officials involved in targeting
tion, the gang investigator or police administrator gangs must understand these facts and structure
can guide discussions with political leaders and intervention efforts appropriately.
community residents to reach a consensus on the The authors indicate in their discussions
existence or degree of the gang problem in their regarding drug sales by gang members that the
area. amount of organization present in the gang may
The amount of criminal activity gang mem- contribute to the level of drug sales by the group’s
bers engage in represents a major aspect of the members. Party gangs may sell enough drugs to
gang dilemma. The authors use a variety of fund their partying. Gangs that deal crack co-
studies and other information to demonstrate that caine at the street level often are loosely orga-
gang members, as a group, are involved in more nized because their customers demand ready and
criminal activity and delinquency than nongang easy access to the product. Information of this
members. The authors advance an important nature could be an important consideration when
conclusion for gang investigators to consider: the structure and goal of an investigation is
gang solidarity is a product of external forces as determined.
opposed to internal dynamics. Therefore, instead A discussion of females as gang members
of dismantling a criminal street gang, police covers a variety of topics. The authors advance
efforts and well-meaning social programs, if not a thought-provoking argument that female gang
properly managed, inadvertently may provide an members are more in danger of suffering emo-
opportunity for growth. tional damage than their male counterparts

February 2003 / 17
because of their traditional role in the family and change, they will diminish to the point of almost
child rearing. They also mention the role females disappearing. The growth of a permanent under-
sometimes play in dismantling a gang by pulling class with high unemployment represents the
male members away. Confronting Gangs indi- current trend that Curry and Decker see as having
cates that a distinct need exists for more research the strongest influence on future gangs. Coupled
when it comes to the involvement of females in with the spread of the gang ideology by media
the gang subculture. sources and popular culture, the high unemploy-
Curry and Decker devote the last two chapters ment will contribute to gang members staying
of the book to a discussion of intervention and with their gangs well into adulthood. Older gang
prevention strategies. The authors provide enough members may lead to more organized gangs, with
information on each entry to allow readers to profit from illegal activities playing an increas-
decide if it would be an appropriate program to ingly important role in the gang’s makeup.
study for application to an identified gang prob- Gang investigators and police executives who
lem in their communities. As an aid, the book develop enforcement policies for their agencies
points out areas of concern that have arisen when should read Confronting Gangs: Crime and
others have employed some of the initiatives Community. Moreover, many of the programs
mentioned. the authors identify blend well with community-
The book concludes with an examination policing initiatives that agencies already may
of the future of gangs in the United States. The have implemented.
authors point out that the historical pattern for Reviewed by
street gangs is one of ebb and flow. Gangs will Captain David Allender
flourish for a time, and, then, as social conditions Indianapolis, Indiana, Police Department

ViCAP Alert

Attention: Sex Crimes


and Robbery Units
Unsolved Sex Crime

T he Madison, Wisconsin, Police Department


requests assistance in an ongoing serial sexual
assault investigation. Since the spring of 1999, nearly
two dozen unsolved sexual assault attacks have
occurred at southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois

18 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin


mall and strip mall stores and parking lots. In all Possible Suspect Information
cases, a lone white male stalked and attacked young The suspect is described as a white male, 25 to 35
white female store clerks working alone or customers years of age, 5' 7" to 5' 10" in height, with a stocky
and clerks as they walked to their vehicles in the late build, broad shoulders, and strong hands. He has
afternoon or evening hours. The suspect selected, sandy brown short hair, with no thinning or receding
stalked, and spoke to the victims before attacking hairline. He has noticeably blue eyes, is clean shaven
them from behind. In many cases, he used a knife to or with a five o’clock shadow and a rough complex-
gain control and compliance in getting victims into ion, and frequently wears a close-fitting baseball cap.
their cars or a store bathroom. The suspect has fled the scenes of previous
attacks in a metallic ruby red, early to mid-1990s,
Crime Scenes full-size, clean pickup truck, possibly a Chevy
The suspect appears comfortable traveling long Silverado or Ford F-150. The truck may have a
distances between attack sites and has selected narrow midline white or silver horizontal stripe, a
victims in malls around the Madison area, as well as black toolbox with two chrome handles in the bed
in the jurisdictions of Janesville, Fond du Lac, behind the cab, and a reddish maroon topper. He also
Johnson Creek, Cottage Grove, and Monona, Wiscon- was seen operating a full-size, clean, 1989 to 1995,
sin, and Roscoe, Illinois. For the past 3 years, he has gray, Ford F-150, with a gray topper and gray interior,
effected a pattern of discontinuing the attacks in following an attack in Illinois.
Wisconsin around the month of September and return-
ing in late January or early February. For this reason, Alert to Law Enforcement
investigators believe that he may be traveling for Law enforcement agencies should bring this
work or other reasons and perpetrating elsewhere. information to the attention of all crime analysis
Law enforcement officers should pay particular personnel and officers investigating crimes against
attention to all calls dispatched to mall and strip mall persons, sex crimes, and robberies. Any agency with
stores and parking lots between 1 p.m. and 10 p.m. In crimes similar to these should contact Madison Police
previous cases, officers received dispatches of armed Department Detectives Maureen Wall at 608-266-
robberies, domestic disturbances, suspicious person 4696, Mark Zwart at 608-266-5935, or Bruce Frey at
complaints, and exposure incidents, as well as sexual 608-245-3656 or Crime Analyst Butch Rabiega of the
assaults. As a result of this initial call confusion, FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program
response sometimes was slow or given low priority, (ViCAP) at 703-632-4170 or Special Agent Gary
resulting in the suspect’s escape and loss of evidence Cramer at 703-632-4197. For a composite drawing
from the scenes. Therefore, regardless of the nature of and vehicle description, access http://
the dispatched call, if it occurs at a mall or strip mall www.ci.madison.wi.us/police.
store in the afternoon or evening hours, responding
officers should remain alert for this suspect fleeing to Agencies that have information on similar cases in their
a nearby highway. areas should contact the Madison, Wisconsin, Police
Officers should consider this suspect as armed Department at 608-266-4696.
and dangerous and preserve all possible evidence at
the scene, including soft drink cans, cigarette butts,
chewing gum, coins, videotapes, latent fingerprints on
doors, and any other items of DNA or evidentiary
value. Suspect DNA currently is on file in CODIS
with no known identification.

February 2003 / 19
Focus on Communications
The Pen and the Sword answering a few questions, brainstorming potential
information to include, selecting the needed informa-
How to Make the Writing tion and organizing it logically, editing for style, and
Process Work for You finally proofreading for grammar and punctuation,
By Julie R. Linkins, M.A., M.S. writers can produce successful documents.
Step One: Prewriting
When given a writing assignment, inexperienced
authors frequently start typing right away. This
approach usually leads to a jumble of rambling
thoughts that readers cannot decipher. Just as officers
learn to develop a plan for responding to a call for
service before they arrive at the scene, writers should
develop a plan for composing their documents before
they sit down at the computer. Answering these four
basic questions will put writers on the correct path:
• Who am I writing to?
• What is my purpose?
• What action do I want my reader to take?
• What is in it for the reader?
The answers to these questions will help writers
form a simple, one-sentence statement that conveys
© © PhotoDisc the essence of their message: a bottom line. This
sentence tells the reader the topic, who is affected,
and what will or should happen. Here are a few

A s employees advance through the ranks of an


agency, the nature of their writing changes.
Sergeants write fewer incident reports and more
performance evaluations; lieutenants and captains
examples of bottom lines for everyday documents:
• Internal job posting: To apply for this position
in the Drug Unit, you must submit a letter de-
scribing your qualifications to Lieutenant Mary
respond to letters from the public, propose new Jones by 1700 hours on 12/20/02.
programs, submit grant requests and the like; even • Information request: By Tuesday, please send
chiefs and sheriffs may find themselves writing me a spreadsheet showing the projected fleet
unfamiliar documents for new audiences. Civilian maintenance costs for fiscal year 2002.
employees face similar transitions, from writing
standard interagency memos to wide-ranging budget • Thank you letter: Thank you for speaking to my
narratives and annual reports. As one student at the class today and sharing your expertise in legal
FBI National Academy recently said, “In law enforce- issues.
ment, there is a point where the gun becomes less • Performance evaluation: During the rating
of a weapon and writing becomes more of one.”1 Law period, Mr. Adams met expectations in the areas
enforcement officers should be proficient with both. of oral and written communications, but he needs
Business writing is not mysterious, magical, or to improve his interpersonal skills and filing
impossible to learn. Writers at all levels can follow system.
five logical steps to ensure that their documents An effective bottom line predicts the information
get the job done with minimal fuss and effort. By to follow; everything else in the document should

20 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin


support or clarify it. Anything that does not pertain to For example, proposals frequently describe the
the bottom line does not belong in the document. problem or current situation first, follow with the
proposed solution, and end with the anticipated
Step Two: Brainstorming results. Progress and after-action reports follow the
With a clear bottom line on paper, writers can same format, only all in past tense. Employee evalua-
begin brainstorming potential ideas to include in the tions might employ a topical or grouping method,
document. This step often is called “fast writing” describing each performance element in a set order.
because the writer seeks to record as many ideas as Instructions and procedures follow sequential order
possible without sorting or evaluating them. Not from first step to last. Operational plans include a
every idea generated at this stage will end up in the spatial component that describes the physical layout
final document, but that is okay. Anyone who has of the buildings, streets, or locations involved.
participated in a group brainstorming session prob- Writers should select the pattern that best serves the
ably has experienced the phenomenon of having a document’s purpose.
silly idea from one person inspire someone else to
think of the perfect solution. The same thing holds Step Four: Revising for Style
true here. No idea is too absurd or wrong to record Clutter, jargon, ambiguity, and bias can derail
during a fast-writing session. even a well-organized document. Unnecessary
Writers employ a variety of fast-writing tech- verbiage acts like static on the radio; it just adds
niques. Some jot lists of words and phrases for distracting noise to the message. Specialized terms,
key ideas, while others use more including abbreviated program
visual techniques, such as webbing names or the use of 10-codes in
or mind mapping. Free writing, certain situations, exclude readers
also known as letter writing, helps
some writers generate ideas; this
technique simply involves writing
a letter about the topic to a trusted
“ ...writers should
develop a plan for
composing their
unfamiliar with the definitions.
Vague references or unclear
descriptions leave readers con-
fused and frustrated. Similarly,
reader. Still others, encumbered language that exhibits prejudice
documents before
by the tools of writing, talk can anger readers, causing them
through their ideas and record they sit down at to dismiss the writer’s message
them on audiotape to transcribe the computer. completely. The style choices
into a first draft later. No matter writers make in each of these areas
the fast-writing method used,
the objective remains to record
as many ideas related to the bottom
line as possible. From this pool of ideas, writers
” dramatically affect the success
of the document; therefore, after
crafting the first draft, writers
should carefully review their documents for clarity,
choose the best ones to include in the final simplicity, specificity, and sensitivity.
document. Many kinds of clutter exist, including redundan-
cies (e.g., free gift, fatal slaying), wordy expressions
Step Three: Writing and Organizing (e.g., “six individuals of the male persuasion” versus
Writers can choose from many patterns to or- “six men”), smothered verbs (e.g., “conduct an
ganize their information. For investigative reports, appraisal” versus “appraise” or “have expectations”
chronological order makes the most sense. For versus “expect”), and passive voice (e.g., “All homi-
other types of documents, however, chronological cide cases are investigated by Detective Larson.”
order might not serve the reader or the writer well, versus “Detective Larson investigates all homi-
so effective writers use different methods of cides.”). Writers should strive for clean sentences
organization. that include no unnecessary words.

February 2003 / 21
Writing Resources
Stephen D. Gladis, ProcessWriting: A Systematic Writing Strategy (Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1989).
Hodges’ Harbrace College Handbook, 13th ed. (New York, NY: Harcourt Brace, 1998).
Online Writing Lab, Tidewater Community College, http://www.tc.cc.va.us/writcent/
William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White, The Elements of Style, 3rd ed. (New York, NY: Macmillan, 1979).
Andrea J. Sutcliffe, ed., The New York Public Library Writer’s Guide to Style and Usage (New York,
NY: HarperCollins, 1994).
Christopher Thaiss and John E. Hess, Writing for Law Enforcement (Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon,
1999).
William Zinsser, On Writing Well, 6th ed. (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 1998).

Writers also should choose the simplest words Step Five: Proofreading
possible. Why say “assist with recuperative mainte- After writers ensure that they have organized the
nance” when “help clean up” will do? When writers content well and removed all clutter, they must check
use plain language as much as possible, readers do not the fine details of spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
mind the occasional difficult or specialized term. Running the spell check application available in
Writers should try not to drown readers in big words today’s word processing programs will catch the
or jargon. Not only does it annoy the reader, it defeats obvious errors, but it cannot replace a careful line-by-
the writer’s purpose because the audience cannot line, word-by-word review. Software programs cannot
comprehend the message. tell the difference between a misspelled word and a
Writers can make their words more specific by misused word.
describing observable actions and characteristics in- For the most part, grammar-checking programs
stead of using general conclusions. Rather than perform even more poorly than spell-checking
reporting that a suspect “appeared suspicious,” for applications. While they can highlight areas for the
example, a writer might say that the suspect “left the writer to examine more closely, such programs often
car running at the curb, carried a brick in one hand, misunderstand the writer’s meaning and offer bad
and peered into the window of the closed jewelry advice for corrections. Writers should invest in a good
store.” As the example shows, sometimes it takes grammar book and take time to learn the basic rules
more words to say something clearly. That is okay. of grammar and punctuation. Continuing education
Writers must never sacrifice clarity for brevity. courses or in-service training can help employees
One last item for writers to check in this step is refresh their skills.
bias. Biased language–whether racial, ethnic, sexist, When in doubt about the correct punctuation,
or otherwise–has no place in careful workplace writers should revise the sentence until they know for
writing. Writers should be sensitive to the concerns certain how to punctuate it. This frequently requires
of their readers. breaking a complex sentence into two or more simple
Such choices can determine whether a document ones.
succeeds or fails. With careful attention to these four
aspects of style, writers will improve the readability Managing Time
of their documents, help readers who do not have a lot This time-tested writing process divides a writing
of time to devote to the task, and ensure that readers task into manageable steps. Some writers, however,
receive the intended message. tend to get stuck along the way and run out of time

22 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin


before completing all of the steps. To avoid such
problems, writers can follow this general guide for Wanted:
dividing the time they have to complete a document:2 Photographs
1) Prewriting 12.5 %
2) Brainstorming 25.0 %
3) Writing and organizing 25.0 %
4) Revising for style 25.0 %
5) Proofreading 12.5 %
Thus, if a letter needed to go out in an hour, the
writer would spend about 7 minutes answering the
prewriting questions and developing a bottom line,
15 minutes brainstorming, 15 minutes writing and
organizing, 15 minutes revising for style, and 7
T he Bulletin staff is
always on the lookout
for dynamic, law enforce-
minutes proofreading. These times are flexible, so ment-related photos for
10 minutes brainstorming and 20 minutes writing possible publication in the
would probably work well, too. The objective is to magazine. We are interested
leave enough time to complete all five steps. in photos that visually depict
the many aspects of the law
Conclusion enforcement profession and
For most people, writing well requires study and illustrate the various tasks
practice. Law enforcement officers at all levels should law enforcement personnel
approach learning this skill just like they learned perform.
marksmanship or investigative techniques: begin We can use either black-
with the basics, split the task into steps, practice with and-white glossy or color
feedback, and requalify regularly. With time and prints or slides, although we
practice, the steps outlined here will become second prefer prints (5x7 or 8x10).
nature. We will give appropriate
Writing matters. It can help spend or save money, credit to photographers when
win or lose a case, and cause or avert danger. Mem- their work appears in the
bers of the public expect their law enforcement offi- magazine. Contributors
cers to use all available tools to protect them and keep should send duplicate, not
the peace; members of the department expect their original, prints as we do not
leaders to do the same. Law enforcement executives accept responsibility for
must arm themselves with both the pen and the sword. damaged or lost prints. Send
photographs to:
Endnotes
1
Art Director
William J. Weightman, FBINA 206. The FBI hosts four 10-week
sessions each year during which law enforcement executives from around FBI Law Enforcement
the world come together to attend classes in various criminal justice Bulletin, FBI Academy,
subjects, including effective writing.
2
Madison Building,
Ginny Field, “Time Management for the Writing Process,” Lesson Room 209, Quantico,
Plan, 1998.
VA 22135.
Ms. Linkins, Law Enforcement Communication Unit, is an
instructor at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

February 2003 / 23
Legal Digest

Consent
Once
Removed
By EDWARD M. HENDRIE, J.D.

T his article addresses the


“consent once removed”
exception to the search war-
rant requirement. Under that excep-
tion, officers are permitted to make
a warrantless entry to arrest a sus-
pect based on the consent to enter
given earlier to an undercover of-
ficer or informant. Knowledge of
the law of arrest and search is im-
portant to understanding the doc-
trine of consent once removed. This
article provides a brief review of
those areas before explaining con-
sent once removed.
Review of Arrest Law
It is constitutional for a police
officer to arrest a suspect in a public
place without a warrant if the
officer has probable cause to be-
lieve the arrestee has committed a
crime, regardless of whether that
crime is a felony or a misdemeanor.1
The common law rule, however,
followed in many state and federal
statutes, limits the authority of an
officer to make a misdemeanor ar- without a warrant is presumed un- Arresting a person in public
rest without a warrant to circum- reasonable, there is no presumption is one thing, entering his home to
stances when the suspect commits of unreasonableness that attaches to arrest him is quite another. When
the misdemeanor in the officer’s a warrantless public arrest. Conse- an officer enters a subject’s home
presence. 2 Under the Fourth quently, it is not constitutionally re- and arrests him, not only has the
Amendment, a person could be ar- quired that an officer be faced with officer seized the subject but, by
rested without a warrant for a minor an emergency or to obtain consent entering the home, the officer also
offense that is neither violent nor a before making a public arrest with- has conducted a Fourth Amendment
breach of the peace.3 While a search out a warrant.4 search of the home. If officers have

24 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin


an arrest warrant, they may enter a
suspect’s residence to arrest him if
they have probable cause to believe
he is home. Even though an arrest
warrant is a seizure warrant and not
“ ...officers are
permitted to make
a warrantless entry
to arrest a suspect
a search warrant, the U.S. Supreme
Court has ruled that an arrest war- based on the
rant carries with it the implicit au- consent to enter
thority to enter the residence of the given earlier....
person named in the warrant to
search for him, provided that there
is at least probable cause to believe
that he is present in his home.5
Where the person named in an ar-
rest warrant is believed to be in a

Special Agent Hendrie, DEA Legal Unit, is a
legal instructor at the DEA Training Academy.

third party’s home, however, an ar-


rest warrant alone will not suffice to premises, they may secure the area undercover agent or informant has
enter the third party’s home to arrest and seek a search warrant. recently entered if “[t]he under-
the suspect. An officer must obtain cover agent or informant: 1) entered
a search warrant before entering the Consent Once Removed at the expressed invitation of some-
third party’s home, unless there is Ordinarily, officers cannot en- one with authority to consent; 2) at
an emergency or the resident gives ter premises without a warrant un- that point established the existence
consent to search.6 less they have consent or there is an of probable cause to effectuate an
emergency.13 The consent once re- arrest or search; and 3) immediately
Review of Search Law moved doctrine is an extension of summoned help from other offi-
A search conducted under the the consent exception to the search cers.”16 There is no requirement that
authority of a search warrant is pre- warrant requirement. In circum- the person obtaining the original
sumed reasonable, whereas a search stances when officers do not have a consent be an officer of the law. The
conducted without a search warrant warrant and are not faced with an person obtaining consent could be
is presumed unreasonable.7 The emergency, they still will be able to an informant.17 Of course, the origi-
presumption of unreasonableness conduct a search if they obtain vol- nal consent must be valid to support
for searches conducted without a untary consent to search from some- the second entry by the arrest
warrant can be rebutted through one one who has actual or apparent do- team.18
of the exceptions to the warrant re- minion and control over the In United States v. Bramble,19
quirement, such as consent or emer- premises.14 An officer who is work- undercover federal agents entered
gency. The emergency exceptions ing in an undercover capacity can the home of a suspect to negotiate
applicable to building searches fall use deception to obtain valid con- the purchase of sea otter pelts ad-
into closely circumscribed catego- sent to enter premises.15 Once an vertised for sale. During negotia-
ries: 1) prevent escape;8 2) prevent undercover officer obtains the ini- tions, the suspect showed the agents
harm to officers or others;9 3) ren- tial consent to enter, that consent parts of a bald eagle, a golden eagle,
der immediate aid;10 4) prevent the can be transferred to officers who a horned owl, and a red-tailed hawk,
destruction of evidence;11 or 5) hot later enter the premises to arrest the all of which are unlawful to possess.
pursuit.12 Once the emergency that suspects. One of the agents also noticed what
justified the warrantless entry has Under the doctrine of consent appeared to be a vial of cocaine on
passed, the authority to search with- once removed, officers without a the dining room table. After seeing
out a warrant ends. If the police search warrant or an emergency the illegal bird parts and the sus-
desire to continue to search the may enter a residence that the pected cocaine, the undercover

February 2003 / 25
agents identified themselves and front door and arrested the defen- ern District of Virginia ruled that
told the suspect that he was going to dants. The U.S. Court of Appeals because the officers were relying
be placed under arrest. The agents for the Sixth Circuit ruled that the upon the original consent to enter
then called for backup officers to entry by the backup officers to ar- given by the defendant to the under-
enter the home. The U.S. Court of rest the defendants was lawful un- cover officer, the false statement of
Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled der the consent once removed doc- an officer that the arrest team had a
that once the suspect had given con- trine. The court found that once the search warrant did not render illegal
sent to the undercover agents to en- defendants gave the undercover of- the otherwise legal entry.
ter his home, he lost any expecta- ficer and the informant permission
tion of privacy in the area to which to enter, the entry by the arrest team No Emergency Required
he invited them. The backup offic- did not create any further invasion Once an informant or under-
ers could then enter the home upon of privacy. cover agent obtains consent to enter
the authority of the original consent a residence, there is no requirement


given to the undercover agents. The that there be an emergency for of-
entry of additional officers did not ficers to follow the informant or un-
infringe upon the consenter’s ex- There is no dercover agent into the home with-
pectation of privacy. requirement that out a warrant. All that is needed is
It is dangerous, particularly in the original voluntary consent,
drug cases, for an undercover of- the person obtaining probable cause to arrest, and the in-
ficer to notify a suspect that he is an the original consent formant or undercover agent imme-
undercover officer and then tell the be an officer diately summoning the officers to
suspect that he is under arrest, as of the law. arrest the defendant.22
was done in Bramble. The safest In United States v. Jachimko,23


tactic would be to have the under- DEA agents sent an informant,
cover officer leave the premises be- equipped with a recorder and an
fore the arrest team enters to make Under the consent once re- agent-alert device, into a suspect’s
the arrest. If, for some reason, it is moved doctrine, the lawfulness of home. The agents instructed the in-
necessary for the undercover officer the second entry by the arrest team formant to activate the alert button
to remain inside the premises, the is based upon the initial consent only if he saw more than 100 mari-
undercover officer should not arrest given to the undercover officer. juana plants. As is usual in drug
the suspect. It would be safer for Therefore, because the entry team cases, events took a turn toward the
him to remain in his undercover role could force their entry into the pre- unexpected. After the informant en-
and surreptitiously signal backup mises, it certainly would be permis- tered the suspect’s home, he and the
officers to enter and make the ar- sible for the entry team to use a ruse suspect left the suspect’s home and
rest. The consent once removed to enhance the safety of the second drove to the house of another indi-
doctrine would apply to the entry by entry. For example, in United States vidual named Jachimko. Up to that
the arrest team in such a case. For v. Samet,21 an undercover officer time, DEA did not have any suspi-
example, in United States v. Pol- gave a prearranged arrest signal cion that Jachimko was involved in
lard,20 an informant and an under- from inside the defendant’s apart- illegal drug activity, nor did they
cover officer entered a residence to ment after he made a purchase of suspect that there was marijuana in-
purchase 4 kilograms of cocaine. 277 grams of cocaine. Upon receiv- side his house. Twenty minutes af-
Upon seeing the cocaine in the ing the arrest signal, the entry team ter entering Jachimko’s house, the
apartment the informant gave the rushed into the defendant’s apart- in-formant activated the agent-alert
arrest signal. In response to the ar- ment and announced that they had a button. The DEA agents responded
rest signal, approximately six offi- search warrant. In fact, the officers by knocking on the side door
cers, without knocking or announc- did not possess a search warrant. to Jachimko’s home; Jachimko
ing, immediately broke down the The U.S. District Court for the East- opened the door, but tried to close

26 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin


it when the agents identified them- The consent once removed doc- suspects likely will become imme-
selves. A scuffle ensued, and trine is particularly helpful in re- diately aware that the cause for the
Jachimko and the other suspect verse drug operations. In a reverse unwelcome entry of the police is
were arrested. In addition, several drug transaction, the undercover of- probably the undercover officer.
marijuana plants were seized. ficer acts as the seller of the drugs. The consent once removed doctrine
In Jachimko, the government The suspect, being the purchaser of requires that once the undercover
did not argue that the second entry the drugs, is expected to bring the officer or informant establishes
by the officers into Jachimko’s resi- money. The suspect ordinarily probable cause to arrest he must im-
dence was justified by an emer- would not be expected to attempt to mediately summon help from the
gency, but, rather, that it was justi- destroy money if he believed that he other officers. Most courts permit
fied by the original consent given to was the object of a police sting. A the undercover officer to leave the
the informant. The U.S. Court of second entry, therefore, could not, residence to summon assistance
Appeals for the Seventh Circuit be based upon the fear that the sus- from the other officers. If the under-
agreed with the government and pect would destroy the evidence. cover officer makes an arrangement
ruled that the second entry was au- The entry of the arrest team, how- with the suspect that he will leave
thorized by the initial consent given ever, could be based upon the con- the residence to obtain money or
to the informant.24 The defendant sent given earlier to the undercover some other item to complete the il-
argued that he withdrew his consent officer.26 legal transaction, the undercover of-
when he refused to allow the offi- ficer could then leave the residence
cers to enter after they identified © © Mark C. Ide and lawfully reenter with several
themselves. The court, however, backup officers. The legality of the
ruled that once the contraband was officers’ reentry would be based on
discovered by the informant, it was the original consent of the resident
too late for Jachimko to withdraw and his expectation that the under-
his consent. cover officer would return.
Jachimko further argued that For example, in United States v.
the consent obtained by the infor- White,27 an undercover officer and
mant to enter was ineffectual be- an informant arrived at an apart-
cause there was no preexisting DEA ment to purchase illegal drugs from
investigation on him, nor was there suspected drug traffickers. The in-
probable cause for a search when formant exited the suspects’ apart-
he gave the informant consent to ment, purportedly to obtain money
enter his residence. The court ruled to complete the illegal drug transac-
that there is no legal requirement tion. The informant was accompa-
that there be an investigation before nied by one of the suspects who
a suspect can give valid consent Undercover Officer Leaves locked the door behind him with a
and, further, that it is not required and Promises to Return key. The undercover officer re-
that there be probable cause before It is tactically more sound to mained in the apartment with an-
consent may be obtained.25 The arrange ahead of time to have the other suspect. Upon arriving at the
only requirement for valid consent undercover officer who is acting as informant’s automobile, ostensibly
is that a person with actual or appar- the purchaser of illegal drugs leave to obtain money for the drug trans-
ent authority give voluntary con- the premises after he sees that the action, the accomplice was arrested.
sent. The fact that the informant suspects possess the illegal drugs. It The keys found on the accomplice
misrepresented his purposes for en- is much more dangerous for the un- were used by the backup officers to
tering the premises did not render dercover officer to stay in the resi- enter the apartment and arrest the
the consent given to the informant dence when the arrest team makes other suspect. The court expressly
involuntary. its entry to arrest the suspects. The refused to consider whether the

February 2003 / 27
second entry justified the potential suspect answered the door, he told suspect would have likely admitted
harm to the undercover officer, who the suspect he had forgotten his the undercover agent back into the
remained in the apartment, because keys and coat. The arrest team then hotel room and the fact that the
the court found that the second en- immediately pushed past the under- agent was assisted by other law en-
try was authorized by the initial cover officer and arrested the sus- forcement officers did not make a
consent given to the undercover of- pect and seized the drugs. difference.
ficer and the informant to enter the In Diaz, the U.S. Court of Ap- It is not required that the under-
apartment. peals for the Seventh Circuit felt cover officer actually return with
In White, the undercover officer that the officers had plenty of time the arrest team for the consent given
remained in the apartment. It is not to obtain a search warrant before to him to be transferred to the arrest
required, however, that an under- entering the hotel room. Further- team. For example, in United States
cover officer remain behind on the more, the court did not find that v. Santiago,29 an informant went in-
premises after an informant leaves there was any emergency that side a suspect’s apartment purport-
to have the benefits of the consent would justify entry without a search edly to buy a kilogram of cocaine.
once removed exception. That is warrant. The court stated that sim- Upon examining the cocaine pack-
because the consent once removed age, the informant told the suspects
doctrine is not based upon an emer- that he needed to leave to retrieve


gency concern for the safety of the the money for the purchase of the
undercover officer or informant; cocaine from his “moneyman.” The
rather, it is founded on the premise The only requirement informant then went out to his car
that the initial consent given by the and informed the federal agents on
suspect to an undercover officer or for valid consent is the arrest team about his observa-
informant can be transferred to the that a person with tions. Approximately 15 minutes
arrest team, justifying their second actual or apparent later, the arrest team, unaccompa-
entry. authority give nied by the informant, used a batter-
In United States v. Diaz,28 an voluntary consent. ing ram to enter the apartment with-
undercover officer entered the out a search or arrest warrant. The


suspect’s hotel room to negotiate agents arrested the suspects, who
the purchase of the 8 kilograms of gave the agents consent to search
cocaine. Once in the apartment, the the apartment. Upon searching the
undercover officer was shown the 9 ply because there is probable cause apartment, the agents found and
kilograms of cocaine. Upon seeing to believe a serious crime is being seized the kilogram of cocaine that
the cocaine, the undercover officer committed or that there is the mere the informant had previously exam-
told the suspect that he would go to possibility that evidence could be ined. The suspects moved to sup-
the lobby and call his “money man,” destroyed does not mean there is an press the evidence by contending
who would arrive in approximately emergency that would justify entry that their Fourth Amendment rights
30 minutes. The suspect told the without a warrant. While the court were violated when the federal
undercover officer that he would found that entry was not justified by agents entered their home without a
wait in the room for him. The under- an emergency, it ruled that, instead, warrant, their voluntary consent, or
cover officer exited the hotel room the entry was justified based upon exigent circumstances. The court
and gave the prearranged signal to the initial consent given to the un- found that there was no emergency
the surveillance team that had dercover officer to enter. The con- that justified an immediate entry
gathered in an adjacent hotel sent given to the first entry was not without a warrant. The court ruled,
room. Minutes later, the under- broken by the undercover officer’s however, that the second entry by
cover officer, accompanied by the brief exit to obtain assistance to the arrest team was justified by the
surveillance team, knocked on the arrest the suspect. The court opined earlier consent to enter obtained by
suspect’s door, and, when the that based on the evidence the the informant. The Santiago court

28 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin


decided that the 15-minute delay in in his direction. Another suspect, [T]here is no doubt that the
the entry of the arrest team was not Errol McDonald, was sitting on a agent who made the under-
too long to put it outside the imme- couch counting a stack of money cover purchase would have
diacy requirement of the consent within easy reach of a .357-mag- been entitled to arrest the
once removed doctrine:30 num revolver. There were four suspects in the apartment at
The facts suggest that the other men in the apartment. The the time of the purchase. A
[informant] and federal agents agent bought a small amount of controlled purchase of nar-
acted diligently in effecting marijuana and left the building. cotics by an undercover law
the arrests and seizing the con- Shortly thereafter, the agent re- enforcement agent ‘is a
traband. As described by the turned to the apartment with rein- recognized and permissible
government prosecutor and forcements and knocked on the means of investigation’
agreed to by the defendants in door. As soon as the agents identi- employed to gather evidence
open court, the length of time fied themselves, they heard the of illegal conduct and to make
that elapsed was that necessary sound of scuffling feet and received lawful arrests.... It follows that
for the [informant] to return to the undercover agent here did
© © Mark C. Ide
his car and summon assistance not need a warrant to reenter
and for the agents to gather the apartment within 10
in the parking lot, proceed minutes, having exited only
up to the apartment, and enter to secure proper protection by
using the battering ram. Their obtaining reinforcements. This
actions after the [informant] is not the kind of scenario that
established probable cause needs the detached judgment
essentially constituted an of a neutral magistrate to
unbroken chain of events, determine whether there is
and the arrests were executed probable cause for an arrest
without interruption or and search.33
significant loss of time.31 That same reasoning was ap-
parent in State v. Henry.34 In Henry,
Undercover Officer an undercover officer made a
Not Expected To Return purchase of crack cocaine from
Most courts do not require that simultaneous radio communication suspects inside an apartment. The
the undercover officer create an ex- from the perimeter team informing undercover officer exited the apart-
pectation that he will return for the them that the occupants were at- ment and informed the waiting ar-
arrest team to reenter on the author- tempting to escape through a bath- rest team what had taken place. Ap-
ity of the original consent given to room window. The agents then used proximately 15 to 20 minutes later,
the undercover officer. For ex- a battering ram to enter the apart- the backup detectives knocked on
ample, in United States v. ment. The agents arrested the sus- the door of the apartment. As soon
McDonald,32 an undercover agent pects and found large quantities of as the door was opened, the officers
with the New York Drug Enforce- cocaine and marijuana along with announced themselves and one of
ment Task Force was admitted to two loaded weapons, drug para- the suspects fled into a bedroom,
a one-room efficiency apartment phernalia, drug packaging materi- with two of the detectives in pur-
on the first floor of an apartment als, and several thousand dollars in suit. The suspects were arrested
building shortly before 10 p.m. cash. and the illegal drugs were found on
on September 8, 1988. The agent In an opinion of the full bench the suspects during a search inci-
encountered a suspect sitting in a of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the dent to arrest. The Supreme Court
chair pointing a cocked 9-mm Second Circuit, the McDonald of New Jersey ruled that once the
semiautomatic pistol at the floor but court ruled: undercover detective observed the

February 2003 / 29
commission of a crime in his pres- warrantless entry in light of all placing someone under arrest the
ence, he had both statutory and the circumstances surrounding officers could search the subject
common law authority to arrest the the entry. Those circumstances and the immediate area surrounding
defendant on the spot. The defen- include the consensual basis that subject incident to arrest. The
dant contended that once the under- for the initial entry, probable justification for the search would
cover officer left the apartment cause for an immediate arrest not be the consent given by the
without making an arrest, he easily arising out of that entry, the suspect to the undercover officer
could have obtained an arrest war- short amount of time and during the original entry, but,
rant and therefore, was constitu- continuity between the two rather, the search incident to arrest
tionally obligated to do so. The entries, and the legitimate exception to the search warrant
Henry court disagreed with the de- grounds for delaying the initial requirement.39
fendant and stated that it does not arrest until backup officers
follow that an otherwise legal war- could arrive.36 Conclusion
rantless arrest becomes illegal sim- Officers may, without a search


ply because the officers could warrant or an emergency, enter the
have, but did not, obtain an arrest premises of a suspect if: 1) an infor-
warrant.35 ...officers are not mant or undercover officer has pre-
The more significant issue in authorized under this viously entered at the invitation of
Henry was not the warrantless ar- someone with authority to give con-
doctrine to go beyond sent; 2) the informant or undercover
rest of the suspects but the warrant-
less entry of the apartment by the
those areas that the officer establishes probable cause
arrest team. The court ruled that the suspect gave consent to arrest or search while inside the
second entry into the apartment by to the undercover premises; or 3) the informant or un-
the police to effectuate the arrest officer to enter. dercover officer immediately sum-
was reasonable because the under- mons help from the other officers.


cover officer was earlier given con- This doctrine, commonly referred
sent to enter, and the probable cause to as “consent once removed,” al-
that the undercover officer had to Scope of Consent lows officers to rely on the authority
arrest the suspects had not dissi- of the original consent given to the
When making an entry under undercover officer as justification
pated in the short 15 to 20 minutes the consent once removed doctrine,
between the time he left and the to make the second entry.
the backup officers are restricted to
second entry by the arrest team. The the scope of the consent originally
court concluded that there was no Endnotes
granted to the undercover officer or 1
See Street v. Surdyka, 492 F.2d 368, 371-
need for the officers to seek the de- informant.37 The backup officers 72 (4th Cir. 1974); Minnesota v. Seefeldt, 292
tached review of a magistrate be- are not authorized under this doc- N.W. 2d 558 (Minn. 1980).
fore entering the apartment to arrest trine to go beyond those areas that
2
E.g., 21 U.S.C. § 878 (1970).
the suspects. The court summarized the suspect gave consent to the un-
3
Atwater v. City of Lago Vista, 532 U.S.
the basis for its ruling thusly: 318 (2001).
dercover officer to enter.38 To ex- 4
United States v. Watson, 423 U.S. 411
Here, the separate entries can pand the search area beyond the (1976).
5
original consent given to the under- Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573 (1980).
be viewed as components of a 6
Steagald v. United States, 451 U.S. 204,
single, continuous, and inte- cover officer, the officers must 215-16 (1981).
grated police action and were obtain a search warrant, obtain new 7
Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 357
not interrupted or separated by expanded consent from the resi- (1967).
8
dent, or apply one of the other ex- Minnesota v. Olson, 495 U.S. 91 (1990).
an unduly prolonged delay... 9
Warden v. Hayden, 387 U.S. 294, 298-99
ultimately we are convinced ceptions to the search warrant re- (1967); Hancock v. Dodson, 958 F.2d 1367,
of the reasonableness of the quirement. For example, when 1375 (6th Cir. 1992) (court approved of police

30 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin


entering residence after being called to scene occupant. Of course, this does not mean that, probable cause to arrest a suspect he may
where gunshots were fired). whenever entry is obtained by invitation and the summon backup officers to enter premises
10
Mincey v. Arizona, 437 U.S. 385, 393 locus is characterized as a place of business, an without a warrant to assist him. The court
(1978); Thompson v. Louisiana, 469 U.S. 17 agent is authorized to conduct a general search further ruled that “there is no rule that back-up
(1984); Minnesota v. Olson, 495 U.S. 91, 100 for incriminating materials.”). or assistance may be had only when there are
16
(1990); United States v. Mayes, 670 F.2d 126 United States v. Pollard, 215 F.3d 643, exigent circumstances. Time does not need to
(9th Cir. 1982) (A military corpsman was 648 (6th Cir. 2000); See also United States v. be ‘of the essence’ and the officers certainly do
justified in entering the suspect’s apartment to Diaz, 814 F.2d 454 (7th Cir. 1987). See not need to be in an emergency or in mortal
retrieve the object found in a child’s throat so generally United States v. Rubio, 727 F.2d 786 danger before we will allow back-up and
that the doctor could decide the proper medical (9th Cir. 1983); United States v. Janik, 723 assistance.” Id. at 766. See also United States
procedure in giving aid to the child. The fact F.2d 537 (7th Cir.1983). v. Ryles, 451 F.2d 190 (3rd Cir. 1971), wherein
17
that the doctor also suspected criminal activity United States v. Jachimko, 19 F.3d 296, the informant exited the defendant’s apartment
did not detract from the emergency need to 299 (7th Cir. 1994). after witnessing the defendant mixing narcotics
18
preserve life.). See People v. Finley, 687 N.E.2d 154 (Ill. on the kitchen table. The informant signaled
11
United States v. Santana, 427 U.S. 38 App. 1997) (“Assuming, arguendo, that the officers waiting outside, who immediately
(1976). “consent once removed” doctrine is applicable entered and arrested the defendant. The Ryles
12
Id. © © Mark C. Ide court ruled that the trial court properly denied
13
Oftentimes in drug cases, there is an the defendant’s motion to suppress. No mention
emergency after making a controlled purchase was made in the case of the doctrine of consent
of drugs. Some courts allow officers to reenter once removed. The Ryles court instead based its
a residence without a warrant, based on the decision on the reasoning in the U.S. Supreme
emergency; they do not base their decision on Court case of Lewis v. United States, 385 U.S.
the initial consent given to the undercover 206, 211 (1966), which it quoted: “when, as
officers. Those courts reason that once the here, the home is converted into a commercial
illegal drug transaction begins to unfold any center to which outsiders are invited for
delay in obtaining a warrant would permit the purposes of transacting unlawful business, that
destruction of evidence, the escape of suspects, business is entitled to no greater sanctity than if
or increase the danger to officers or others. See it were carried on in a store, a garage, a car, or
United States v. Harris, 713 F.2d 623 (11th Cir. on the street.” Id at 191.
23
1983); United States v. Bradley, 455 F.2d 1181 19 F.3d 296 (7th Cir. 1994). See also
(1st Cir. 1972). United States v. Paul, 808 F.2d 645 (7th Cir.
14
Schneckloth v. Bustamonte, 412 U.S. 218 1986) (informant signaled for assistance from
(1973). The burden of proving the voluntariness federal agents by using an electronic device
of consent rests with the government. Bumper to the case at bar, we would conclude, from inside the residence).
24
v. North Carolina, 391 U.S. 543 (1968). The nonetheless, that the State failed to meet the See also United States v. Akinsanya, 53
voluntariness of the consent must be established criteria of the doctrine. At best, the record F.3d 852, 856 (7th Cir. 1995).
25
by a preponderance of the evidence. United suggests that defendant did not expressly invite 19 F.3d 296, 299.
26
States v. Matlock, 415 U.S. 164 (1974); United Adams to his trailer for the purpose of See, e.g., United States v. Jones, 1995 WL
States v. Drayton, ___ U.S. ___, 2002 WL conducting a drug transaction. Defendant had 443929 (N.D. Ill. 1995) (“The charges against
1305729 (2002) (It is not necessary that the no previous arrangements with Adams Jones resulted from a ‘reverse buy’ undercover
suspect receive a warning from an officer that regarding any drug buys. Defendant was highly DEA investigation. Through a cooperating
he has a right to refuse to give consent for his intoxicated at the time, vitiating any alleged individual and his girlfriend, a cocaine deal was
consent to be voluntary.) The suspect’s consent given to Adams. Secondly, Adams, arranged whereby Jones agreed to pay $60,000
knowledge of his right to refuse consent is only in his initial entry, did not establish probable for two kilograms of cocaine. At Jones’
one factor for a court to consider when deciding cause to believe that cocaine was located inside instruction, the transaction was to be carried out
whether, under the totality of the circumstances, the trailer. Defendant did not display any at his father’s house. When the cooperating
the consent was voluntary. Schneckloth, 412 cocaine to Adams, nor did defendant arrange to girlfriend arrived, Jones placed a bag containing
U.S. 218 (1973). make a future sale to Adams. Having failed to $60,000 in front of her, signalling his
15
Lewis v. United States, 385 U.S. 206, meet two out of the three elements, a warrant- willingness to complete the transaction. The
211 (1966) (“[W]hen, as here, the home is less search of defendant’s trailer could not be girlfriend then left the house for the purported
converted into a commercial center to which sustained under this doctrine.”). purpose of retrieving the cocaine. An arrest
19
outsiders are invited for purposes of transacting 103 F.3d 1475 (9th Cir. 1996). signal was given and DEA agents who were
20
unlawful business, that business is entitled to 215 F.3d 643 (6th Cir. 2000). waiting outside entered the house.” The Jones
21
no greater sanctity than if it were carried on 794 F. Supp. 178 (E.D. Va. 1982). court ruled that the entry by the agents was
22
in a store, a garage, a car, or on the street. A In State v. Johnston, 518 N.W.2d 759 lawful under the consent once removed
government agent, in the same manner as a (Wis. 1994), the Supreme Court of Wisconsin doctrine.). But see United States v. Ogbuh, 982
private person, may accept an invitation to do found that it was confusing and unnecessary to F.2d 1000, 1004-05 (6th Cir. 1993). In Ogbuh,
business and may enter upon the premises for resort to the doctrine of consent once removed. a suspect was stopped by DEA agents and
the very purposes contemplated by the The court reasoned that if an officer has found to possess approximately 51.73 grams of

February 2003 / 31
heroin. The suspect decided to cooperate with presence because it was lawful for the police to Doyle, 42 N.J. 334, 345- 46, 200 A.2d 606
DEA and make a controlled delivery of the do that. The court gave yet another basis that (1964) (“If the arrest without a warrant is
heroin. The agents replaced most of the heroin the entry was lawful by stating that, regardless lawful, the search and seizure are not invali-
with sham and had the suspect, who was now of the announcement by the officers at the door, dated solely because the officers had adequate
acting as a DEA informant, make a controlled they were faced with an emergency as soon as time to procure a search or arrest warrant.”).
36
delivery of the package to his accomplices in a the undercover agent made the drug purchase. Id. at 131-32.
37
hotel room. Within a minute of the informant’s “First, the ongoing sale and distribution of See generally Gouled v. United States,
entry into the hotel room, the arrest team narcotics constituted a grave offense. Second, 255 U.S. 298 (1921) (government informant
forcibly entered the room. By the time the the defendant and at least one of his associates obtained consent to enter the suspect’s office by
agents entered, one suspect and the informant were armed with loaded, semi-automatic representing to the suspect that he intended to
had already flushed the sham/drug mixture weapons. Third, the law enforcement agents pay a social visit, but he exceeded the scope of
down the toilet. The court ruled that the had not only probable cause to suspect that a the consent to enter and visit when he
entry was not justified under the emergency crime had been perpetrated but firsthand ransacked the office in the suspect’s absence).
38
exception and, because the informant did not knowledge that ongoing crimes were transpir- United States v. Bramble, 103 F.3d 1475
summon the officers, the second entry could not ing. Fourth, the agents further knew that the (9th Cir. 1996).
39
be based upon the consent to enter given to the defendant and his associates were in the Chimel v. California, 395 U.S. 752, 763
informant. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the apartment. Fifth, the likelihood that a suspect (1969). The U. S. Supreme Court has ruled that
Sixth Circuit adopted the consent once removed might escape if not swiftly apprehended was “[a] custodial arrest of a suspect based on
doctrine in United States v. Pollard, 215 F.3d confirmed by the fact that the man who actually probable cause is a reasonable intrusion under
643, 648 (6th Cir. 2000). The Pollard court made the sale to Agent Agee had apparently the Fourth Amendment; that intrusion being
cited, but did not overrule Ogbuh. escaped during the 10-minute interval that lawful, a search incident to the arrest requires
27
660 F.2d 1178 (7th Cir. 1981). elapsed after the controlled purchase and before no additional justification.” United States v.
28
814 F.2d 454 (7th Cir. 1987). See also the agents entered the apartment. Sixth, the Robinson, 414 U.S. 218 (1973). Police have the
Lawrence v. State, 388 So.2d 1250, 1253 (Fla. agents acted in accordance with the law, and automatic authority to search a person incident
Dist. Ct. App. 1980), aff’d sub nom. Griffin v. first attempted to effect a peaceful entry by to a lawful arrest and need not establish the
State, 419 So.2d 320 (1982). knocking and announcing themselves.” 916 probability that weapons or evidence would be
29
1993 WL 75140 (N.D. Ill. 1993). F.2d at 770 (quoting Warden v. Hayden, 387 found prior to instituting the search. Id. at 236.
30
Contra United States v. Herrera-Corral, U.S. 294, 298 (1967), and McDonald v. United An officer may perform a search of the person
2002 WL 69491 (N.D. Ill. 2002) (The States, 335 U.S. 451, 456 (1948)). The and may open any object found during such a
informant saw cocaine in an apartment as he McDonald court listed two other considerations search. Chimel, 395 U.S. 752, 763. “While the
negotiated for the purchase of the cocaine. The as relevant to its decision. “[T]he volatile mix legal arrest of a person should not destroy the
informant exited the apartment and told the of drug sales, loaded weapons and likely drug privacy of his premises, it does—for at least a
waiting arrest team what he saw. The informant abuse presented a clear and immediate danger reasonable time and to a reasonable extent—
drove away, and, within 2 minutes after the to the law enforcement agents and the public at take his own privacy out of protection from
informant exited the apartment, the arrest team large.... In addition,...the agents were con- police interest in weapons, means of escape,
forced entry into the apartment and arrested the fronted by an urgent need to prevent the and evidence.” United States v. Edwards, 415
defendant. The court ruled that the consent once possible loss of evidence....” Id. at 770. See also U.S. 800, 808 (1974). The Supreme Court has
removed doctrine was inapplicable because the Minnesota v. Olson, 495 U.S. 91, 100 (1990), limited the spatial scope of a search incident
entry of the arrest team was not immediate. wherein the U.S. Supreme Court cited with to arrest. A search incident to arrest must be
The Herrera-Corral court disagreed with approval the Minnesota Supreme Court’s confined to the area within the immediate
the Santiago court that the 15-minute delay position that in assessing the risk of danger, the control of the arrestee. Chimel, 395 U.S. at 763.
between the exit of the informant and the gravity of the crime and likelihood that the The Court reasoned that the search must be
second entry by the arrest team in the Santiago suspect is armed should be considered. confined to that area within which the arrestee
34
case constituted an immediate entry. The 627 A.2d 125 (N.J. 1993). See also could gain possession of a weapon or destroy
Herrera-Corral court further questioned Commonwealth v. Moye, 586 A.2d 406 (Pa. evidence. Id.
whether simply telling the agents what he saw Super. Ct. 1990) (reentry with arrest team after
inside the apartment was sufficient to constitute undercover drug buy was justified under the Law enforcement officers of other than
“summoning” the agents as required by the consent once removed doctrine); State v. federal jurisdiction who are interested
consent once removed doctrine.). Contrell, 426 So.2d 1035 (Fla. App. 1983) in this article should consult their legal
31
Id. (valid application of consent once removed advisors. Some police procedures
32
916 F.2d 766 (2d Cir. 1990) (en banc), doctrine where undercover officer leaves ruled permissible under federal
cert. denied, 498 U.S. 1119 (1991). premises after a drug purchase and he signals constitutional law are of questionable
33
Id. at 771 (citing Arkansas v. Sanders, the arrest team who reenter the premises).
35 legality under state law or are not
442 U.S. 753, 759 (1979); United States v. Id. at 128. See also United States v.
Russell, 411 U.S. 423, 432 (1973); United Watson, 423 U.S. 411, 417-18 (1976) (“the permitted at all.
States v. Asencio, 873 F.2d 639, 641 (2d Court ‘has never invalidated an arrest supported
Cir.1989)). The McDonald court further ruled by probable cause solely because the officers
that the agents did not impermissibly create an failed to secure a warrant’”) (quoting Gerstein
emergency by knocking and announcing their v. Pugh, 420 U.S. 103, 113 (1975)); State v.

32 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin


The Bulletin Notes
Law enforcement officers are challenged daily in the performance of their duties; they face each
challenge freely and unselfishly while answering the call to duty. In certain instances, their actions
warrant special attention from their respective departments. The Bulletin also wants to recognize
those situations that transcend the normal rigors of the law enforcement profession.

While traveling west out of


Greeley, Colorado, Deputy Bill
Esch of the Weld County, Colo-
rado, Sheriff’s Office received a
report of a possible drunk driver.
Locating the vehicle, Deputy Esch
attempted to make a traffic contact
when the vehicle, traveling almost
80 mph, ran off the road. The
vehicle reached a ditch, became
Deputy Esch Officer Bratton Officer Young airborne, and struck the guide wire
of a utility pole. Fire engulfed the
vehicle and trapped the driver inside. Deputy Esch used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames in the
cab, but was unable to open either door. Officers Pete Bratton and Tim Young of the Greeley, Colorado,
Police Department arrived. Officer Bratton kept the flames at bay with a fire extinguisher while Deputy
Esch and Officer Young pulled the driver from the vehicle. The driver suffered second- and third-degree
burns on 10 percent of his upper body and face. Deputy Esch and Officers Bratton and Young exhibited
bravery and a willingness to put their lives in danger and subsequently saved the life of the driver.

Officer Scott Provost of the Bellingham, Massachusetts, Police Department


responded to a call of a fire alarm in an apartment building. Upon arrival at the
scene, Officer Provost entered the upstairs apartment, but was overcome by
thick smoke. While regaining his composure outside the apartment, Officer
Provost spoke with a group of tenants from a downstairs apartment. He was
informed that a mother and two young children were in the upstairs apartment.
After being instructed exactly where the children’s bedroom was located,
Officer Provost reentered the apartment. He discovered that the mother had left
a suicide note and had placed puddles of accelerate throughout the apartment.
She also had barricaded the door of the children’s room and crawled into bed
Officer Provost with them. Officer Provost was able to kick open the bedroom door enough to
squeeze through the opening. Once inside the bedroom, he was able to confront
the mother and evacuate everyone from the fire.
Officer Provost put his own life in peril by
entering the burning apartment, and, by doing Nominations for the Bulletin Notes should be based
so, he saved the lives of three people. on either the rescue of one or more citizens or arrest(s)
made at unusual risk to an officer’s safety. Submissions
should include a short write-up (maximum of 250
words), a separate photograph of each nominee, and a
letter from the department’s ranking officer endorsing
the nomination. Submissions should be sent to the
Editor, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, FBI Academy,
Madison Building, Room 209, Quantico, VA 22135.
U.S. Department of Justice Periodicals
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