Thirteen FBI agents took mementos or valuables from the Staten Island landfill that held the rubble of the World Trade Center, reports the New York Times. The bureau plans to ban the removal of crime-scene items. Among items taken were a Tiffany globe paperweight, an American flag, chunks of concrete, bags of dust, bolts and pieces of metal. The Justice Department began investigating charges of theft last year after hearing that the globe wound up on the desk of an FBI secretary in Minneapolis. The results of the investigation, first reported last night by NBC News, outraged some survivors, who saw the removal of items as insensitive to the memories of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the Sept. 11 attacks. An agent from Oklahoma who was said to have taken large amounts of debris has been suspended for 10 days. The agent who took the globe faces the prospect of disciplinary action, as does Richard B. Marx, the agent who supervised the evidence recovery effort by 400 agents.
In January the FBI put in place a policy that prohibits members of evidence recovery teams from taking anything from a crime scene, no matter what its value. It plans to expand the ban to the entire bureau soon.