Criminal Law

To uphold the law through the investigation of violations of
federal criminal law; to protect the U.S. from foreign intelligence and
terrorist activities; to provide leadership and law enforcement assistance
to federal, state, local, and international agencies; and to perform these
responsibilities in a manner that is responsive to the needs of the public
and is faithful to the constitution of the U.S.: this is the mission of
the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The agency now known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation was
founded in 1908 when the Attorney General appointed an unnamed force of
Special Agents to be the investigative force of the Department of Justice
(DOJ). Before that time, the DOJ had to borrow Agents from the U.S.
Secret Service to investigate violations of federal criminal laws within
it’s jurisdiction. In 1909, the Special Agent Force was renamed the
Bureau of Investigation, and after a series of name changes, it received
it’s present official name in 1935.
During the early period of the FBI’s history, it’s agents
investigated violations of mainly bankruptcy frauds, antitrust crime, and
neutrality violation. During World War One, the Bureau was given the
responsibility of investigating espionage, sabotage, sedition (resistance
against lawful authority), and draft violations. The passage of the
National Motor Vehicle Theft Act in 1919 further broadened the Bureau’s
After the passage of Prohibition in 1920, the gangster era began,
bringing about a whole new type of crime. Criminals engaged in kidnapping
and bank robbery, which were not federal crimes at that time. This
changed in 1932 with the passage of a federal kidnapping statute. In
1934, many other federal criminal statutes were passed, and Congress gave
Special Agents the authority to make arrests and to carry firearms.
The FBI’s size and jurisdiction during the second World War
increased greatly and included intelligence matters in South America.
With the end of that war, and the arrival of the Atomic Age, the FBI began
conducting background security investigations for the White House and
other government agencies, as well as probes into internal security
matters for the executive branch of the government.
In the 1960’s, civil rights and organized crime became major
concerns of the FBI, and counterterrorism, drugs, financial crime, and
violent crimes in the 1970’s. These are still the major concerns of the
FBI, only now it is to a greater extent..
With all of this responsibility, it is logical to say that the FBI
is a field-oriented organization. They have nine divisions and four
offices at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. These divisions and
offices provide direction and support services to 56 field offices and
approximately 10,100 Special Agents and 13,700 other employees. Each FBI
field office is overseen by a Special Agent in Charge, except for those
located in New York City and Washington, D.C. Due to their large size,
those offices are each managed by an Assistant Director in Charge.
FBI field offices conduct their official business both directly
from their headquarters and through approximately 400 satellite offices,
known as resident agencies. The FBI also operates specialized field
installations: two Regional Computer Support Centers; one in Pocatello,
Idaho, and one in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey -- and two Information
technology Centers (ITC’s); one at Butte, Montana, and one at Savannah,
Georgia. The ITC’s provide information services to support field
investigative and administrative operations.
Because they do have so much responsibility, their investigative
authority is the broadest of all federal law enforcement agencies. The
FBI also stresses long term, complex investigation, emphasize close
relations and information sharing with other federal, state, local, and
foreign law enforcement and intelligence agencies. A significant number
of FBI investigations are conducted with other law enforcement agencies or
as part of joint task forces.
As part of this process, the FBI has divided it’s investigations
into the following programs:
· Applicant Program
° Department of Energy and Nuclear Regulatory Commission
° Department of justice Candidates
° FBI Special Agents and Support Applicants
° and others

· Civil Rights Program

° Civil Rights Act of 1964
° Discrimination in Housing
° Equal Credit Opportunity Act

· Counterterrorism Program

° Hostage taking
° Sabotage
° Attempted of Actual Bombings
° and others

· Financial Crime Program

° Bank Fraud and Embezzlement
° Environmental Crimes
° Fraud Against the Government
° and others

· Foreign Counterintelligence Programs

° Espionage
° Foreign Counterintelligence Matters

· Organized Crime/Drug Program

° Drug Matters
° Money Laundering
° Organized Crime/Drug Enforcement Task Force Matters
° and others

· Violent Crimes and Major Offenders Program

° Theft of Government Property
° Crime Aboard Aircraft
° Kidnapping - Extortion
° and others

These programs cover most everything that the FBI investigates,
and some individual cases in a program often receives extensive
investigative attention because of their size, potential impact, or
Because FBI Special Agents are responsible for handling so many