In this complex, globalized, post 9/11 world, our operational partnerships have never been more important to our efforts to protect your communities.
Today, we work with colleagues at every level of government—local, state, federal, even international—across the law enforcement, intelligence, and first responder communities. We lead and take part in multi-agency task forces, intelligence groups and fusion centers, and public and private sector alliances. A number of our partners literally sit shoulder-to-shoulder with us in FBI space, just as we share our agents and analysts with other agencies. We work closely on joint investigations—sometimes taking the lead, sometimes taking a back seat to others, sometimes contributing equally among many agencies. Our work with our colleagues, in fact, is so intertwined today that it’s often nearly impossible to separate the contributions of one agency—and one nation—from the next.
In El Paso, our major partnerships include:
- We participate in the FBI Counterintelligence Strategic Partnerships Program, which builds relationships between private industry, academia, government agencies, the FBI, and its counterintelligence community partners to identify and protect projects of great importance to the U.S. government.
- The West Texas HIDTA Investigative Support Center (ISC) is a consortium of all federal, state, and local agencies in the 12 West Texas counties that supports investigators in the area. The FBI has been a partner since 1996 and provides facility space and security clearances for ISC personnel. The entire Field Intelligence Group is co-located with the ISC.
- The Health Care Fraud Ad Hoc Task Force (HCFATF)—which includes the FBI, the Health and Human Services – OIG, the Texas Attorney General, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Internal Revenue Service, Defense Criminal Investigative Services, and the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit—coordinates health care fraud investigations within the El Paso area. Due to the size and scope of these investigations, each agency has brought both personnel and equipment to the task force. The success of the HCFATF is evident in the seizure of $2.2 million during a search in 2007 and the identification of over $30 million in health care fraud.
- The El Paso Human Trafficking Task Force is an information-sharing coalition and cooperation between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and social services agencies as well as many non-governmental organizations to more effectively investigate cases of human trafficking and to provide social services to victims in the El Paso, Texas area. The members of the task force include Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the FBI; the U.S. Attorney’s Office; the U.S. Department of Labor; the U.S. Department of State; the U.S. Border Patrol; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; the U.S. Probation Office; the U.S. Consulate, Juarez, Mexico; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; the Social Security Administration; the Union Pacific Railroad Police; the El Paso Police Department; the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office; the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office; the El Paso District Attorney’s Office; Texas Alcohol and Beverage Control; the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services; the Texas Office of the Attorney General; the Casa Alexia Mission on the Border; Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services; the Salvation Army; the Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center; and the University of Texas El Paso Social Work.
To battle Cyber Crime, we have a number of key partnerships:
- Our Cyber Crime Task Force in El Paso brings together local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to protect the El Paso community from high technology crime and national security threats involving computers and computer networks.
- The El Paso InfraGard Chapter is the local arm of a national initiative that develops mutually beneficial partnerships between the FBI and private sector, academic, and other public entities. Through ongoing dialogue and timely communication, InfraGard members gain access to information that enables them to protect their assets, and the U.S. government receives information that helps it prevent and respond to terrorism and other crimes.
We also lead or take part in several major partnerships targeting violent crimes and gangs:
- Our El Paso Violent Crimes Task Force combines detectives from the El Paso Police and Sheriff’s Departments and our special agents to pool expertise and resources in targeting violent criminals of all kinds.
- Our Safe Streets Gang Task Force, which includes FBI agents and personnel from the El Paso Police Department, routinely conducts multi-jurisdictional, interagency investigations and actively utilizes the enterprise theory of investigation and sophisticated techniques to disrupt and dismantle the infrastructure of priority violent gangs.
- The Major Theft Task Force combines the FBI, El Paso Police and Sheriff’s Departments and NICB to identify, target, and dismantle major theft organizations operating in the El Paso area.
In Midland we are part of the following task forces:
- Established in 2008, the Permian Basin Oilfield Theft Task Force (PBOTTF)—which consists of officers from the Midland Resident Agency, the Andrews County Sheriff’s Office, the Midland County Sheriff’s Office, and the Ector County Sheriff’s Office—prioritizes and targets the most significant organizations and individuals responsible for the theft and interstate shipment of oilfield equipment and products. The task force employs proactive intelligence-driven strategies such as law enforcement cooperation, the utilization of informants and intelligence provided from corporations, undercover investigations, and other sophisticated investigative techniques.
- The West Texas Major Offender Task Force (WTMOTF) consists of officers from the FBI, the Midland County Sheriff’s Office, the Ector County Sheriff’s Office, and the Odessa Police Department. The task force works to disrupt and dismantle violent street gangs and significant organizations trafficking narcotics in the Midland area through the use of the criminal enterprise theory of investigation and sophisticated techniques.