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DEA and local police

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I am playing Shadows of the City and one of the character, a local police detective in hudson city, decided to ask his dept for firepower help in busting a big drug cargo in the docks.

Considering I live in anotehr country (;)) all this local/federal/national overlapping of duties is making my head spin.

Armed vigilantes using non conventional weaponry are wiping out the major drug dealers in the city. On top of my mind I guess ATF (for the weaponry), DEA (for drugs) and local police powers could be involved.

I have seen some action movies myself but I wonder - would the local police actually ASK DEA for help in the drug bust or they would prefer to keep it for their own and use their resources? Considering they know they have weird weaponry, would they call ATF as well? How many agents would participate in the action?

I have look far and wide but I can't find detailed modus operandi when things like this happen. Also would Police use SWAT teams?

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Re: DEA and local police

 

Of course I guess NSA/CIA could be involved (are they using weaponry stolen from national) as well as the military (the Pack has been trained by an ex-general).

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Re: DEA and local police

 

Thank you. For a bust involving 5 or 6 heavily armed villains, how many agents would be spread? I guess 10 policemen (not swat) and 10 DEA agents?

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Re: DEA and local police

 

If the villains are expected to be armed period, SWAT will probably be involved.

Federal agencies are generally involved when crime crosses state lines, so if the drugs are being imported or exported beyond the state, then you are very likely to have involvement from the DEA, probably the FBI and maybe US Customs. This could be as simple as an agent or two to help with jurisdictional boundry issues, and access to better crime labs and such, or a whole team of agents. The FBI has several "SWAT" teams available for major operations, I know Customs also has some well armed teams with blackhawk helicopters, and I'm pretty sure the DEA has some pretty serious firepower as well.

If you are dealing with a port you could also have the US Coast Guard involved. When expecting serious firepower the national Guard can be mobilized by the Governor. It is quite common for the National Guard to be involved in drug raids in the wilderness (primarily marajuana gardens).

 

Some states do have state versions of the DEA and FBI through their state police and / or task forces from multiple city agencies.

 

I would not expect much from the CIA or NSA, as they are primarily outside the US agencies. While I'm sure they do operate in the US they try to keep a very low profile, passing the info off to the FBI.

 

As far as numbers I would expect a minimum of 3-1 odds in favor of law enforcement if it was a planned operation, vs a "we have 30 minutes before the ship leaves port with the drugs" spur of the moment thing (which of course is always how it goes down in the movies). In real life law enforcement tries not to play fair, they will bring overwhelming force.

 

The US Coast Guard has cutters armed with 3" guns, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft so just leaving port does not get the bad guys into the clear. If they manage to clear the 12 mile coastal waters they may get to deal with the US Navy (a running gun battle on the open sea with the USCG is a good way to have the Navy decide they might be dealing with terrorists).

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Re: DEA and local police

 

Coast Guard cutters may also be armed with torpedo tubes, 50 caliber machine guns,

M240B 7.62mm light machine guns and small arms- M16s, 9mm handguns, shotguns.

 

My personal experience, five years Coast Guard* and twenty four years Detroit Police, is that my agencies do not hesitate to call for back up, including other agency's assistance. Of course, such rivalry has occurred, nonetheless. Hence, which makes a better story?

 

*Mind you, I served with the Coast Guard so long ago that our handgun was the acclaimed .45 caliber M1911, and we used 5" (127 mm) guns.

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Re: DEA and local police

 

As "Armed vigilantes using non conventional weaponry" could easily become domestic terrorist, Homeland Security would also want in on this. Agencies involved could outnumber villains.

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Re: DEA and local police

 

As an ex-cop, you are looking at who has initial jurisdiction. If you have a character who has primary jurisdiction from Hudson City, he will be activating the HCPD SWAT team. This will be in addition to a number of uniforms to seal the area and reduce civilian targets and access. Then it all depends on the command structure and their willingness to involve other agencies. If you are running Shadows of the City, factor in the number of encounters the police have had with the suspected group. If you know there are these criminal masterminds with unconventional weaponry with numbers, it is not likely the police will try to handle this alone. I can easily see contacting the DEA, FBI, Coast Guard, US Customs and ATF. If by chance any of these agencies have an agent on this, they will send in their own forces and SWAT to scoop up the credit and jurisdiction for funding and budget benefits plus to protect their undercover agents or assets. HCPD doesn't want to shoot up other cops from other agencies. Remember this as a delay will occur that your vigilantes can use to get out if the shit hits the fan.

 

Everyone of the Pack has hunteds and those hunted might be watching and therefore get attention of other agencies. There are a couple of hunted by police and a lot of hunted by drug lords. Roll any of those and then roll their hunteds to see who else shows up. There are also strange hunteds like Nazis and Wolf Cult which could result in military, CIA, FBI or even Secret Service getting a lead and getting involved. If you get a roll and a group will get involved, remember that might just mean they are actively looking that night and will come in when they hear the explosions, radio calls or sirens. It doesn't mean they know where things are happening and will not be there to start at all. The Pack has hunteds but they are not suicidal either. They may follow the Pack or the vigilantes away from the hot zone before they act. If following the vigilantes, you might have a kidnapping and interrogation scene where they want information if they feel they might have some. They could even come in a scoop your capture/ prisoner if they feel they can get away with it. That might be deadly especially if the characters are wounded and less capable due to their fight with the Pack.

 

The Pack seems to run as fighting racists and being on an FBI national watch list as a group. Hate crimes are FBI territory. They don't seem to be terrorists against the States but big time bank robbers or radicals level. If they are being hunted by drug lords, the DEA might be watching them and cleaning up the leftovers. The rivalry with the drug lords would put the DEA on their scent just to help them identify drug lords and weakness in the drug trade. I don't see anything on trading weapons so ATF would be less likely. If you see their actions as crossing international borders with contraband, US Customs and Coast Guard would be watching. Based on each agency's previous encounters with them, they would have more resources available to catch them. There are few hunteds at that level so I would say they are new and flying below the big agencies' radar until now.

 

As GM, it is your call but those are my thoughts.

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Re: DEA and local police

 

Wow boys, thanks thanks thanks, you are helping me a lot understanding how I can untangle the situation. The way played it so far is like this: one PC is an inspector for HCPD (organized crime), he was given the files of Don Ballado on an encrypted pen drive protected by biometric locks (eh well, I had to update the adventure a little bit) from the other vigilante characters. He printed the code that says "perivian, 300 kg, 10PM, brandweir shipyards" and told his sergeant that that night the Pack MIGHT be there. Of course he has no proofs that the files are really to be trusted as they were given to him by masked vigilantes he barely knows and is already risking by covering them. The sergeant also can't spend too many resources on something related by an inspector that told him he found the note behind his door at home signed by one of the "other" characters (Vic Sage aka The Question, for those who read a bit of DC comics :)). So The sergeant gives the inspector a small squad of 10 armed cops (guns, rifles and shotguns) and no SWAT teams (why call the swats for something that might as well just be a drug dealing operation?) hoping it is just going to be a routine drug bust... but after your last post I am not certain he would behave this way. It's certainly reasonable all these agencies will be on the hunt of even the smallest of traces including an anonymous letter received by a local inspector... food for though indeed.

What I am still totally unaware is how these kind of operations are structured, how many agents are displaced, their modus operandi and so on, haven't found any Internet articles on this (maybe you can point me out some books?).

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Re: DEA and local police

 

Also since it seems you also read it I'll drop in other questions :).

I am not certain about the timeline or how much the government actually knows about the pack.

Why is sgt Duffene in a civil prison and not in a military one? what did he do to end in jail for several lifetimes?

How could Mongrel free Doberman from a prison and how could Duffene help the escape and why?

Seems like the FBI already knew the pack and all of his members, including Hellhound, that means the Pack probably had done prior crimes together?

I read somewhere Duffene, Mongred and Doberman were jailed in Rikers, that cannot be since one normally stays just 1-2 years in Rinkers before being moved to a state prison. My idea is a guy like Duffene who is incrimated for several horrible crimes could end up in a supermax like Sing Sing, while Mongrel and Doberman could have been sent to another prison in NJ, right?

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Re: DEA and local police

 

It reads clear. You are assuming that Mongrel is known in his other identity. Armondo was released by a governor's pardon as a method to get the minority vote. Mongrel is an identity yet to be cracked. The Pack is known on the streets but not the power as Mongrel has been waging a war on drug dealers. In this case, he is in the same boat as the vigilantes and they are unknown. I don't think they are aware of Mongrel working with the Pack from the jails. I would also assume that Armondo was questioned about his connection with Duffene but was able to keep his new life secret as Mongrel. Sgt. Duffene was discharged from the military so did his crimes as a civilian or was tried in civilian courts. If he was still in the military, he wouldn't have been discharged and be in a military prison but it seems the crimes were handled in civilian courts since after the discharge or after release from the military.

You are probably looking at a supermax prison for all of them. None are in for minor crimes.

The government might know of a group of vigilantes called the "Pack" or something like that. It might make the connection to the group from the prison but remember Armondo was released and is now a law abiding citizen. They would probably overlook him for even questioning. There is no link yet of Mongrel to Armondo except a prison slang term which is common for any crossbreed. The crimes are not against racists so why would they even suspect Armondo? His modus operati is different now with all the crime training. His target are also different. There is no reason to make the connection.

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Re: DEA and local police

 

BTW, there are no real prison names in Shadow so you can place it in your campaign world. They just need to be in the same prison. I don't understand where you got Sing Sing or Rikers from. You are the GM so you can put them in whatever jail you want.

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Re: DEA and local police

 

Report on a conversation with a Narcotics dective.

 

 

So last night at Macdonalds, I was standing in line and behind me where two gentlemen with guns and badges, so of course I politely started a conversation. The gent with the El Paso police badge was kind and chatty and the Sheriff deputy not so much. Here is the information I gathered.

· If you developed a lead on a shipment of drugs would you call the D.E.A..

o No it is our bust.

§ Not a surprise as any cash can go to the arresting department and this justifies their jobs.

· Small town departments have gotten million in drug bust and have paid for years of budget.

· If the group is large or known to be aggressive then we would call in our S.W.A.T.

o If group is known to be large and aggressive then we would ask for help from the Sheriff’s Department S.W.A.T., then the State police S.W.A.T., and if that manpower could not handle it we would then call in the Feds. El Paso Police department has 32 S.W.A.T. members and is divided into 4 elements. (man what you can find on their web site).

· El Paso Narcotics, the El Paso Police and Sheriffs department work together and I was talking to a detective team of one officer and one deputy.

o The El Paso Narcoticsand the DEA have an excellent Relationship. But It’s my bust from my information so no I will not tell the DEA, they might kill the raid.

o El Paso deal with local matters and matters or of law, so information leads to immediate action.

o The DEA and the Feds in general will not act until they are sure and they wish to develop the links up and down the chain to get all of the conspirators. They have the time and budget to do this. The El Paso Police want to deal with the immediate issue of stopping the deal and drugs. (a reason that sharing information my not be a good ideal)

o The Feds have much more red tape than the Locals. ( the officer repeat this three times in our conversation)

o The Feds have some really and I quote “cool and expensive gear”.

§ The Feds will happily share gear, remember the good relationship.

· The El Paso Police have help the DEA on their operations. I assume stake out, local security and S.W.A.T. support.

· I learn from the web that El Paso has the El Paso Metro Narcotics task force that handles Narcotics investigations in El Paso County.

· El Paso received 1.7 million in seized money last year. Total budget 111,127,000.00 dollars.

· 70 persent of money seized is returned to the seizing authority.

· 30 persent goes to the attorney generals office. (Lawyers they always get a cut!)

 

Hope this helps

Lord Ghee

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Re: DEA and local police

 

I can't thank you enough, I just failed to do some simple connections eh. I have now a new perspective on how to handle events.

Besides, is there some official Hero supplement with various agent stats? I know we have package deals in Dark Champions but is there a compendium of "standard" agents of the aforementioned organizations?

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Re: DEA and local police

 

Hudson City: Urban Abyss has a number of police with stats. I would just make some stock contacts and have them as the liassons or reoccurring. They can all have the same stats but just different names and badges. I was looking for the details in other books but it is best to just add the appropriate package and have a few agent sheets.

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Re: DEA and local police

 

[ATTACH]44870[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH]44871[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH]44872[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH]44873[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH]44874[/ATTACH]

 

Just in case someone needs them... straight away conversion, I just had to rewrite Moondog a little bit.

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Re: DEA and local police

 

Depends on the size of the bust. If its a large quantity like say the container ship you speak of then yes DEA would be involved. Face it the feds like takeing as much credit as they can get. In reality that detective going to his dept for assistance in firepower would end up with use of the SWAT team as well as DEA cooperation. The DEA mainly handles large cases. Hope this helps in your scenerio.

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Re: DEA and local police

 

Depending on the force and size of the city, Hudson City is rather large with a lot of police, SWAT and probably even a shore/ docks element. The case is entirely within its jurisdiction at this point although you might have leads taking you to other places. Those leads/ connections would require other departments to get involved. The Feds want in and would exploit anything that might make it a "possible" federal case but the local PD want to have as much credit and press on it for their budget talks and the re-elections of their elected officials. As GM, you should decide based on what you are comfortable with. Do you want to run a "gaggle-f*ck" with all the agencies getting in each others' way or do you want something clean? Do you want high realism or are you going to keep the story moving by not getting bogged down in unnecessary details? Do you have a need to introduce a character from an agency to be used later or to become a connection later? Do you plan to link these other agencies to something later? Are you just trying to make more work for you and increase clutter so the storyline get confusing? Some enjoy that confusion and clutter where it turns other player off.

 

Think back to the original "Die Hard" when the Feds came in. Do you want something like that? Some outsiders come in and do something stupid or predictable that the bad guys know and plan to use as a diversion to get away. It might be a good idea to have this as a backup plan since the Pack goes on. This way the characters might also see who they can trust and who are just "cowboys" that are looking for glory. What kind of flavour are you trying to create?

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