The number of criminal cases opened by the FBI has dropped by nearly half since 2000, says a Justice Department inspector general’s report quoted by the Associated Press. The shift is a reflection of the bureau’s shift toward stopping terrorist attacks. The drop was sharpest in drug investigations and included organized crime, bank robberies, civil rights, health care fraud, corporate fraud, and public corruption, Inspector General Glenn A. Fine said.
Among the FBI’s traditional categories, only gang cases increased. The FBI opened 62,782 criminal investigations in 2000 and 34,451 last year, a drop of 45 percent. Drug cases declined by 70 percent. There were 2,200 fewer field agents investigating criminal matters in 2004.