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6/2/2020 2:34:59 PM
Posted: 1/9/2003 5:12:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/9/2003 5:15:35 PM EDT by Luckystiff]
I have been assigned as a detective to our Ag. Crimes Unit since we started one back in 1999. We are part of an 8 county task force that works Ag. Related crimes. I was just wondering if anyone else out there has one of these units in their department?

Here is a link to the ACTION Project. They are a Federally funded support unit that provides us with all kinds of cool gear and support.
Edited because I still cannot spell!

Link Posted: 1/9/2003 5:28:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/9/2003 5:30:34 PM EDT by The_Emu]
What kind of Ag crimes are we talking about?  Is it things like stolen tractors and other property crimes?  if so, why isnt it handeled by the property crimes unit, the same as stolen cars or stereos?  If it is "crimes" like miss use of ag chems, why doesnt it fall to the state department of Ag?

Ben The(UsedToWorkInAG)Emu

Edited to Add:  Im not saying what you do isn't important. im just trying to understand.
Link Posted: 1/9/2003 7:51:18 PM EDT
I should have explained this off the bat. When I tell people what my current assignment is they usually ask the same questions as you did.

We define ag. crime as any crime that directly affects the ag. industry. If you have a domestic incident that goes down on a dairy that is not ours. If you have a Milker stealing from the dairy it is. In short we are a specialized commercial property crime unit. But we get into a lot of odd investigations. This year I sent in an under cover officer to purchase milk. We ran the op. just like any other felony buy. I ended up arresting the Milker and the owner of the dairy for FELONY sales of milk. They were selling unpasteurized milk for the purpose of resale for human consumption. The milk they sold came back positive for staff and Ecoli (sp.? You know the bad shit). Two months ago I wrote and served a search warrant on a bunch of crankster truck drivers and recovered just under 100K in stolen property and cleared 5 cases.

One of the other units got involved in an international theft scam that was based in Canada. The ring was stealing loads of commodities (nuts and fruit) from the Central Valley area and shipping them to the Middle East before the packing houses could figure out what was going on. They did over a years worth of work including going to Canada twice to end up handing the whole case over to the FBI.

As far as chemicals are concerned we only care if they are stolen. We do not get into permits and such. In the area of ag. chemicals we have found that most of the thefts in our part of the world are done by organized crime. My office is in the same building as our Narc. Unit. We have found that both units are chasing the same people. The same group of people smuggle drugs up from Mexico smuggle ag. chemicals back. We go on each others search warrants and share our intelligence and sources.  They look for drugs and we look for stolen property. So far it has been very beneficial to both units.

The reason the Ag. Units were created in the first place was to address the lack of law enforcement attention given to my states number one industry. Most LE agencies will devote more resources to solving the theft of a $300 TV than a $30,000 ag. chemical theft.  The type of thieves who burg the neighbors house are not the same kind that steal from a farm. Our criminals are VERY transient. I spend as much time working my cases in other counties as I do in my own. One of our first big operations started as a surveillance in my county. We followed the suspects into the far end of the next county were they stole a forklift. We then followed them to LA to a mom and pop lumber/equipment yard. There we arrested everyone and recovered another stolen forklift along with a bunch of building supplies. You just never know were your going to end up.

I have worked thefts of hay, commodities, tractors, forklifts, trees, pipe, valves, pallets, bee hives, cows, sheep, goats, and just about anything else that you can think of that is on a farm or ranch.

Does this answer your question.
Link Posted: 1/10/2003 12:48:56 AM EDT
luckystiff, thanks for the link! here in my county we had a crop fraud case that went to federal court.  third story from top - http://www.macon.com/mld/aberdeennews/business/4106102.htm

in short, bad scale tickets led to payments for wheat that was not damaged, but paid as damaged wheat.  more resources could have sewn up the case sooner, but the grain elevator owner still got popped anyway.
i will look into that agcrimes resource more and see if it could work for our county.
Link Posted: 1/10/2003 12:56:34 PM EDT
Are you in Santa Clara?

Link Posted: 1/10/2003 1:48:55 PM EDT
Negative. Can't see the cost from here.
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