Report of Investigation Concerning Alleged Mismanagement and Misconduct by Carl J. Truscott, Former Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Special Report
October 2006
Office of the Inspector General

Chapter Two:

I.   Truscott’s Professional Background

Truscott received a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Delaware in 1979. He began his law enforcement career in 1980 as an investigator for the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, Division of Gaming Enforcement. In 1981, Truscott joined the United States Secret Service as a Special Agent in the New York Field Office.

Truscott served in a variety of senior management capacities in U.S. Secret Service Headquarters in Washington, D.C., the Los Angeles Field Office, and then back in Washington, D.C. While in the Los Angeles Field Office, Truscott was asked to be the security coordinator of the 1996 Republican National Convention. Beginning in 1997, Truscott worked for two years as a detailee to the United States Senate as a staff member on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Justice, Commerce, Science, and Related Agencies. After serving as Special Agent in Charge of the Presidential Protective Detail, Truscott was appointed as Assistant Director of the Secret Service Office of Protective Research in January 2003, where he was responsible for “overseeing the agency’s protective and investigative intelligence, threat assessments, technical security, information technology, emergency preparedness and operational security.” U.S. Secret Service Press Release, April 1, 2004.

Attorney General John Ashcroft appointed Truscott to be the sixth Director of ATF in April 2004. Truscott assumed his duties as ATF Director on April 19, 2004, and was formally sworn in as Director on May 17, 2004. He resigned as ATF Director on August 4, 2006, effective August 8, 2006.

II.   Background on ATF

The ATF’s mission is “to conduct criminal investigations, regulate the firearms and explosives industries, and assist other law enforcement agencies” as part of the U.S. government’s effort to counter terrorism, reduce violent crime, and protect the public. ATF Strategic Plan, Fiscal Years 2004-2009.

Pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002, codified at 6 U.S.C. § 101, et seq., ATF moved from the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) to the Department of Justice (Department or DOJ). 6 U.S.C. § 531(a). Certain of ATF’s administrative and revenue collection functions remained with Treasury with the establishment of the Tax and Trade Bureau. 6 U.S.C. § 531 (d)(1). The transfer of ATF and its remaining law enforcement and regulatory responsibilities to the DOJ as a separate component became effective on January 24, 2003.

To support its mission, ATF employs approximately 4,950 Special Agents, Industry Operations Investigators (IOIs or investigators), and other staff, most of whom are assigned to one of ATF’s eight directorates.3 The Office of Field Operations is the largest directorate, accounting for approximately 80 percent of the agency’s employees, and has primary responsibility for administering ATF’s 23 Field Divisions. ATF’s Senior Leadership Team includes the Director, the Assistant Directors of the eight directorates, the Deputy Director, the Chief of Staff, and the Chief Counsel.

  1. The eight ATF directorates are the Offices of Field Operations, Management, Public and Governmental Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Science and Technology, Strategic Intelligence and Information, Training and Professional Development, and Professional Responsibility and Security Operations.

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