Exclusive: US Marshal Inflated Arrest Stats By Claiming FBI Busts


The head of a U.S. Marshal task force inflated arrest statistics in order to get more funding by having his officers claim credit for arrests made by the FBI and by counting the arrest of a single suspect several times over, according to documents obtained exclusively by Code and Dagger.

In mid-August, the Department of Justice Inspector General announced (PDF) that an unidentified Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal had been investigated because he had an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate and allegedly "directed personnel to submit false statistics to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program to secure additional funding" for his task force. The investigation substantiated the allegations, but it said, "Prosecution was declined."

The announcement was light on details of the purported con, but a 15-page investigative report obtained by Code and Dagger through a Freedom of Information Act request provides additional insight into the scheme between heavy redactions.

"[Redacted] told the OIG [Office of Inspector General] that the [redacted] was in the practice of claiming HIDTA credit for arrests conducted by other agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation," the report says. The OIG also found that "there were often several arrest warrants issued for the same person for the same violation" and that when the suspect was arrested, the Marshal in question allegedly advised his subordinates to count each warrant satisfied as a separate arrest.

The stats mattered because the OIG said the databases are used in consideration for funding for various law enforcement programs.

"The OIG found that during the time period that inflated task force arrest statistics were reported to HIDTA, the funding for the task force increased from approximately $370,000 to over $480,000," the investigative report says. "Several USMS [U.S. Marshals Service] employees and a task force officer told the OIG that they recalled that [redacted] made comments about the need for increased arrest statistics and that the statistics were related to funding."

The documents indicate that some subordinates raised their concerns with the marshal, but were told that he "knew what HIDTA wanted." Though references to the marshal in the report are redacted, it appears he claimed he had been told years ago that all arrests should be claimed as HIDTA arrests before later admitting HIDTA should not have received credit.

The marshal was also in trouble for having an illicit relationship with a subordinate, allegedly lying about it to his superiors and, mysteriously, at least three other alleged instances of misconduct that are completely redacted in the investigative report. Four pages in the report were also blacked out in their entirety.

Whatever the accusations were, the Department of Justice declined to prosecute the marshal and provided the OIG report to the U.S. Marshals Service for "appropriate action." A spokesperson there declined to say whether the Deputy Marshal in question is still on the job, citing privacy concerns.

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Primary Source: OIG Report on Alleged Misconduct (PDF)

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